Trudeau says he has no faith Russia will honor Ukrainian grain export deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he has no confidence in Russia honoring its end of a deal to reopen Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for grain exports.

Russia and Ukraine on Friday signed separate agreements with Turkey and the United Nations paving the way for the export of millions of tons of desperately needed Ukrainian grain – as well as Russian grain and fertilizer – ending a wartime stalemate that had threatened food security around the world.

When asked if he trusted Russia to deliver on its side of the deal, Trudeau said he had next to no faith in Moscow.

“Canada’s confidence in the reliability of Russia is next to zero, they have only acted in bad faith,” Trudeau told reporters at a press briefing on Friday.

Russia and Ukraine, both among the world’s biggest food exporters, sent their defense and infrastructure ministers respectively to Istanbul to attend a signing ceremony, the two sides said.

WATCH | Trudeau discusses a deal to export Ukrainian grain:

Trudeau reacts to the announcement of an agreement between Ukraine and Russia on grain exports

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will work alongside international counterparts to safely export grain from Ukrainian elevators, but remains skeptical about Russia’s reliability in the deal to export millions of tonnes of grain. cereals from blocked Black Sea ports.

Russia has created global food and energy crises: Trudeau

The blockade by the Russian Black Sea Fleet has worsened global supply chain disruptions and, together with Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, has fueled high inflation in food and energy prices since the forces Russians invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Trudeau pointed the finger squarely at Russia for creating both crises by invading Ukraine.

“They precipitated a global energy crisis, a global food crisis with their illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the rest of us have been working very, very hard to try to alleviate those issues around the world,” he said. -he declares.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed separate agreements with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. The ceremony took place in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sit as representatives of Ukraine and Russia shake hands during a signing ceremony in Istanbul on Friday. (Khalil Hamra/Associated Press)

UN chief calls deal a ‘beacon of hope’

“Today there is a lighthouse on the Black Sea,” said António Guterres. “A glimmer of hope, a glimmer of possibility, a glimmer of relief in a world that needs it more than ever.”

“You have overcome obstacles and put aside differences to pave the way for an initiative that will serve the common interests of all,” he said, addressing the Russian and Ukrainian representatives.

Trudeau said he had spoken with Guterres in recent weeks and was “optimistic” about the deal, but also said he wanted to make sure Ukraine’s sovereignty and security weren’t compromised. not endangered.

“That’s what we’ll be watching very, very closely, to make sure it doesn’t put Ukraine at further risk,” he said.