Russia Sees No Grounds to Extend "Grain Deal"

Tuesday, 4 July 2023

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Tuesday that it does not consider it possible to extend the Black Sea grain initiative, concluded last summer for the export of grain from Ukrainian ports.

According to the statement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the "grain deal" has turned into a "purely commercial export of Ukrainian food that had been delivered to "well-fed" countries," while the situation with the supply of food and fertilisers from Russia "continued to deteriorate."

Russia says it has seen no progress on some demands it has put forward, including for its state agricultural bank to be reconnected to the international payments system SWIFT, the lifting of sanctions on agricultural machinery parts, the resumption of the "Tolyatti-Odesa" ammonia pipeline.

"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 concludes.

In mid-May, despite Russia's threats to withdraw from the agreement, the Black Sea grain initiative was extended for an additional two months.

The Financial Times reported that the European Union was considering a proposal to create a subsidiary of the sanctioned Rosselkhozbank (Russian Agricultural Bank) to restore its connection to the global financial network as a concession to Moscow to preserve the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This proposal has already been criticised by Olha Trofimtseva, the Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

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