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Ukraine war

China not expected to push Russian return to Black Sea grain deal

Initiative's collapse hurts China's economy, but Beijing focused on geopolitics

Although China is hurting from the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal, President Xi Jinping, right, appears determined to support Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photos from Reuters and AP)

KUALA LUMPUR -- China is likely hurting economically from the collapse of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, but experts say Beijing appears content not to pressure Russia to return to the deal, which allowed both Russia and Ukraine to ship agricultural products worldwide despite the war.

Under the initiative, launched in July last year from which Russia withdrew a year later, Moscow lifted a wartime blockade to allow some 32.9 million tonnes of Ukrainian agricultural products, including wheat, barley and corn to be exported globally.

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