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Russia opposes grain deal extension

by Martin Fornusek July 17, 2023 1:38 PM 2 min read
A vessel is seen in the port upon arriving under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Odesa, southern Ukraine. (Yulii Zozulia / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Russia opposes the prolongation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on July 17, citing the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

Moscow has notified Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Nations of its objection to the extension of the grain deal, the news agency wrote with reference to Zakharova.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed the agreement is no longer valid as Russia's demands have not been met, RIA Novosti reported.

"As the president of the Russian Federation (Vladimir Putin) said earlier, the deadline is July 17. Unfortunately, in the parts that concern Russia, these Black Sea agreements have not been implemented so far. Therefore, its effect is terminated," the agency said.

As soon as Russia's demands are met, it will return to the implementation of the deal, Peskov added.

Agriculture Minister: Russia’s grain corridor sabotage could lead to higher food prices
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Russia’s blockage of Ukrainian seaports triggered a global food crisis. The global food crisis was partially resolved in July when an UN-backed grain deal was reached, forcing Russia to unblock three ports in Odesa Oblast for…

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.

The UN has however agreed to assist Russia with the export of its food and fertilizer products and offered to broker an exemption of the Russian Agricultural Bank's subsidiary from the SWIFT payment system ban.

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he reached an agreement with Putin on the grain deal extension, the Kremlin denied his statement.

The grain deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN in July 2022, has been essential in mitigating a global surge in food prices by allowing Ukraine to export its agricultural products via the Black Sea.

The agreement has been prolonged several times, with the latest extension set to expire on July 17. The Kremlin has repeatedly threatened to pull back from the deal.

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