The deal with  Russia to allow grain to flow from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia has been halted. The grain is vital in areas where hunger is a growing threat and high food prices have pushed more people into poverty. The deal expired yesterday and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that Russia would suspend the Black Sea Grain Initiative until its demands to get its own agricultural shipments to the world are met. Russia has been shipping record amounts of wheat and its fertilisers also have been flowing but Putin’s government has complained that restrictions on shipping and insurance have hampered its exports of food and fertiliser — also critical to the global food chain. The United Nations and Turkey brokered the deal last summer to allow food to leave the Black Sea region after Russia invaded its neighbour nearly a year and a half ago. The deal provided assurances that ships wouldn’t be attacked entering and leaving Ukrainian ports.