The UN has basically acknowledged it can do nothing to fulfill its promises, a Russian deputy FM says
Russia intends to exit the deal brokered by the UN and Türkiye allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported via the Black Sea on July 18, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin has said.
However, a new round of consultations with the UN on saving the agreement can’t be ruled out, Vershinin told the news agency RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
Russia remains in contact with the global body on the issue, but “we’re going to do what we’ve said. We’re gearing up towards July 18 becoming the time when the agreements that aren’t being fulfilled end,” he said.
During talks earlier this month, “the UN basically acknowledged that it can do nothing” to fulfill what had been promised to Moscow as part of the agreement, the deputy FM said, adding that it was a “sad” situation.
The deal, which was signed in Istanbul in July 2022 with mediation by the UN and Türkiye, provided for the safe shipment of Ukrainian grain through Black Sea corridors in exchange for the US and EU removing obstacles to exports of Russian food products and fertilizers imposed over the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
The deal initially lasted for 120 days, but Russia agreed to extend it on several occasions, despite pointing to the fact that the West never fulfilled the obligations that it took upon itself. The agreement is set expire on July 17.
Russia’s terms for prolonging it include reconnecting Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) to the SWIFT intentional payment system, unblocking access to ports and insurance for ships carrying Russian food products, resuming operations of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline, restoring supply of agricultural hardware and spare parts, and unfreezing the assets of Russian agricultural companies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Moscow “was thinking about exiting this grain deal” because nothing had been done to facilitate Russia’s food and fertilizer exports. He also pointed out that the safety corridors in the Black Sea had been used by Ukraine to launch naval drones. According to the Russian leader, some 30 million tons of grain have been transported from Ukrainian ports under the agreement.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said over the weekend that judging by how thing currently stand the Black Sea grain deal “has no chance” of being extended again.