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Moscow denies agreeing to extend Black Sea grain deal

by Dinara Khalilova July 14, 2023 6:38 PM 2 min read
Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov attends a press conference at the Palace of Independence December 19, 2022 in Minsk, Belarus. (Contributor/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia didn't make any statements about agreeing to prolong the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Russian state-owned news agency Interfax reported on July 14.

Earlier the same day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he reached an agreement with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on the grain deal extension, as cited by Anadolu news outlet.

Russia has threatened not to prolong the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows Ukraine to continue exporting its agricultural products, unless the West eases its restrictions against Russia's grain and fertilizers exports. The current agreed-upon extension period is set to expire on July 17.

On July 13, Putin claimed that none of Moscow's conditions for extending the grain deal had been met, according to the Russian state-controlled news agency Interfax. The Kremlin's demands focus on logistics, insurance, and money movement when paying for Russian products.

"We can suspend our participation in this deal. If everyone once again says that all the promises given to us will be fulfilled, let them fulfill this promise. We will immediately join this deal," Putin said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offered Putin that he extends the Black Sea grain deal in exchange for connecting a subsidiary of Russian sanctioned bank to the SWIFT international payment system, Reuters reported on July 13.

The grain deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN in July 2022, has been essential in mitigating a global surge in food prices.

Russia's all-out war against Ukraine, one of the world's top grain exporters, initially prevented Ukraine from shipping agricultural products through its Black Sea ports.

Explainer: What’s up with the ‘grain deal’ and Russia?
On Nov. 2, Russia announced it would continue its participation in the deal that allows grain shipments from Ukraine via the Black Sea, ending several days of turmoil when the vital deal was hanging by a thread. The grain exports crisis started with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which
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