Russia sees no grounds to renew grain deal - foreign ministry

The deal is set to expire on July 17
calendar icon 4 July 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Russia sees no basis for renewing the Black Sea grain deal, Reuters reported, citing the Russian foreign ministry on Tuesday, less than two weeks before the expiration of the agreement which has allowed Ukraine to ship grain out of its Black Sea ports despite the war.

The ministry said in a statement Russia was doing everything so that all ships covered by the deal could leave the Black Sea before it expires on July 17.

Russia has long threatened to pull out of the agreement, complaining that promises to remove barriers to its own exports of grain and fertiliser have not been fulfilled.

It agreed in mid-May to renew the deal for two months, but since then has repeatedly said it sees no basis to extend it again this month.

In its statement, the foreign ministry said the Black Sea initiative had delivered Ukrainian grain to "well-fed" countries but failed to help those that needed it most in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The five poorest countries - Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia - had received only 2.6% of the grain shipped, it said. Meanwhile the situation regarding Russian grain and fertiliser exports had "continued to worsen".

"Under these conditions, it is obvious that there are no grounds for further continuation of the 'Black Sea Initiative', which expires on July 17," the statement said.

Russia says it has seen no progress on a series of demands it has put forward, including for its state agricultural bank to be reconnected to the international payments system SWIFT.

In a separate comment, foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova described as "unworkable" a reported proposal by the European Union to create a special subsidiary of the bank that could be admitted to SWIFT.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.