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Pope urges Russian brothers to restore Black Sea grain deal

Pope Francis on Sunday called on Russia to reverse its decision to abandon the Black Sea grain deal, under which it had allowed Ukraine to export grain from its seaports despite the ongoing war.

“I appeal to my brothers, the authorities of the Russian Federation, so that the Black Sea initiative may be resumed and grain may be transported safely,” Francis said during his weekly Angelus message.

Global wheat prices have spiked since Russia on July 17 quit the pact, which was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July 2022, and began targeting Ukrainian ports and grain infrastructure on the Black Sea and Danube River.
Addressing crowds in St Peter’s Square, the pope urged the faithful to continue praying “for martyred Ukraine, where war is destroying everything, even grain,” calling this “a grave insult to God.”

Pope Francis

The leader of the world’s nearly 1.4 billion Catholics said “the cry of millions of brothers and sisters who are suffering from hunger is rising up to the sky”.

Russia walked out of the Black Sea deal after saying its demands to ease sanctions on its own grain and fertilizer exports had not been met. Moscow also complained that not enough grain had reached poor countries.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to supply Africa with grain, some of it for free, but the chair of the African Union, Azali Assoumani, responded that this “may be not quite enough”.

Since the conflict in Ukraine broke out last year, Francis has repeatedly condemned Russia’s war of aggression, but has also sought to keep an open channel of communication with Moscow, with limited results.

In May, he tasked the head of the Italian bishops’ conference, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, to act as a peace envoy. Zuppi has so far been to Kyiv, Moscow and Washington and is working on the repatriation of children from Russia and Russia-controlled areas to Ukraine.

Source: eNCA

In other news – I’ll never stop missing you – Connie Ferguson remembers Shona

Actress and filmmaker Connie Ferguson took to social media to remember Shona since his passing. The award-winning actor and film producer died of Covid-19-related complications on July 30, 2021.

Connie Ferguson

Taking to her Instagram timeline she shared moments she had with her late husband. And she said everything still feels so real with you my love. Read more

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