Russia Announces Withdrawing Security Guarantees under Grain Deal

Monday, 17 July 2023

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has announced the withdrawal of shipping safety guarantees within the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which ceased to operate as of Monday, 17 July.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the Russian Federation is closing the maritime humanitarian corridor in the northwestern waters of the Black Sea and, accordingly, restoring the regime of a temporarily dangerous area there.

The Russian side explained its decision by the fact that "contrary to the declared humanitarian goals, the export of Ukrainian food was almost immediately transferred to a purely commercial basis."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is demanding the lifting of Western sanctions on Russian fertilisers and food in exchange for the continuation of the "grain agreement".

"Only upon receiving concrete results, and not promises and assurances, will Russia be ready to consider renewing the agreement."

On 17 July, the Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov announced the suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

At the same time, the President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said that he believed the Russian president actually wanted the so-called grain deal to be extended, and he would talk to him about it. 

Media report that the EU had considered making concessions to a Russian bank for the sake of the grain deal, specifically by setting up a subsidiary of the sanctioned Russian Rosselkhozbank (Agricultural Bank) to restore its connection with SWIFT.

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