The foreign minister noted that half of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ planned package, “concerning Russian fertilizers and food, has not progressed at all”
The grain deal does not work, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
“How can you prolong what doesn’t work?” the minister said on Friday in a interview with NTV TV channel.
Sergey Lavrov noted that half of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ planned package, “concerning Russian fertilizers and food, has not progressed at all.””Only the Ukrainian part is working, but it is not working in the context proposed by the UN Secretary General, namely, to meet the needs of the poorest countries, but in a commercial sense. Less than 3% of the volumes that Ukraine sent as part of the so-called grain component of this package ended up in developing countries that are on the UN World Food Program’s special list, and these are the poorest countries,”the minister noted.
The Russian top diplomat also noted that Western countries do not want to eliminate the restrictions that they have set up for the supply of Russian fertilizers to the world’s poorest countries.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that work on extending the grain deal continues, but the Kremlin does not see much progress – commitments to Moscow are still not being met.
Peskov said earlier that Russia would not endlessly show goodwill in the situation around the grain deal, since the West does not fulfill the agreements on exports of Russian agricultural products. “Russia has repeatedly made gestures of goodwill, showing a very responsible approach. But, unfortunately, in the absence of reciprocity and the desire of the collective West to fulfill part of the agreements concerning Russia, of course, this manifestation of goodwill, political will, cannot be infinite,” he said.
Peskov added that Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal is possible when its next extension period ends.
Putin said at a meeting with military reporters on Tuesday that Russia is considering withdrawing from the grain deal. He drew attention to the fact that most of the Ukrainian grain, contrary to the agreements, goes to quite prosperous countries of the European Union. “We understand this. We deliberately agreed to it (grain deal – TASS) in order to support developing countries – our friends, and in order to lift sanctions on our agricultural sector. We were deceived once again,” he said.
Moreover, he continued, almost no Ukrainian grain reaches African countries. “Therefore, we are now thinking about withdrawing from this so-called grain deal. Moreover, the vessel corridors are constantly used by the enemy to launch naval drones,” Putin said
On July 22, 2022, a package of documents on the supply of food and fertilizers to the international market was signed in Istanbul. Initially, the agreements were concluded for 120 days, in November of last year they were extended for the same period. On March 18, 2023, Russia announced a 60-day extension of the deal, warning that this would be enough time to evaluate the implementation of the memorandum signed with the UN. On May 17, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the grain deal had been extended for two months starting May 18.