EU urges Russia to revoke Black Sea grain suspension

STORY: The European Union called on Russia to reverse its decision to pull out of a U.N.-brokered grain deal on Sunday (October 30).

A move that undermined efforts to ease a global food crisis, and that Ukraine said Moscow had planned well in advance.

Moscow suspended its participation in the Black Sea deal on Saturday - effectively cutting shipments from Ukraine, one of the world's top grain exporters.

It was in response to what Russia called a major Ukrainian drone attack earlier in the day, on its fleet near the port of Sevastopol in Russian-annexed Crimea.

EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, urged Russia to reverse its decision on Twitter.

Adding that, quote, "Russia's decision to suspend participation in the Black Sea deal puts at risk the main export route of much needed grain and fertilizers."

On Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden called the move "purely outrageous."

"It is going to increase starvation. There's no reason for them to do that, but they are always looking for some rationale to be able to say the reason they are doing something outrageous is because the West made them do it...."

Russia's defense ministry said Ukraine attacked the fleet with 16 drones early on Saturday.

And that British navy "specialists" had helped coordinate what it called a terrorist attack.

Russia said it repelled the attack, but that the ships targeted were involved in ensuring the grain corridor out of Ukraine's Black Sea ports.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Moscow used the explosions, 137 miles away from the grain corridor, as a "false pretext" for a long-intended move.

And President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for a strong response from the United Nations and G20.

“How can Russia be among others in the G20, if it deliberately works to create famine on several continents? This is nonsense. Russia has no place in the G20.”

Russia's departure from the grain deal marks a new development in an eight-month war that began with Russia's invasion in February.

The conflict has recently been dominated by a Ukrainian counteroffensive and Russian drone and missile attacks that have destroyed more than 30% of Ukraine's generating capacity and hit populated areas.

Each side has accused the other of being prepared to detonate radioactive bombs.