The UK government on Friday hailed a landmark grain deal signed by Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations (UN) and Turkiye to resume grain exports through the Black Sea, Anadolu Agency reported.
"[Russian President Vladimir] Putin's barbaric invasion of Ukraine has meant some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world are at risk of having nothing to eat," UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.
"Now this agreement must be implemented, and we will be watching to ensure Russia's actions match its words," Truss added.
The US called the Ukraine grain deal a "positive step" and thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN chief Antonio Guterres for their efforts.
Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that the grain deal was "excellent news" for the international community to avoid a global food crisis.
European Union (EU) Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell also welcomed efforts by Turkiye and the UN leading to the deal.
"Today's Istanbul agreement is a step in the right direction to solve the problems caused by Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, which left millions at risk of hunger," Borrell wrote on Twitter.
UN's Guterres, who attended the deal signing ceremony, thanked President Erdogan and his government for facilitating the talks that led to the deal.
Prior to the deal, Guterres said: "Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea. A beacon of hope – a beacon of possibility – a beacon of relief – in a world that needs it more than ever."