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16 Nov, 2022 16:08

Moscow clarifies conditions for extending grain deal

Supplies must be sent to poor countries and not to wealthy Western states, the Russian finance minister told RT
Moscow clarifies conditions for extending grain deal

Russia supports the extension of the grain transport deal, agreed with Ukraine, but only under strict compliance with the UN-backed agreement, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told RT at the G20 summit on Wednesday.

He explained that Russia would agree to a renewal, from November 19, under the condition that the supply of crops to the poorest countries was guaranteed, as stipulated in the original text.

“We favor the extension of the grain deal, but we insist that the grain that is supplied under the Black Sea agreement goes exactly to the countries that need it most, not to Western countries, and not to Europe, as it is happening now,” Siluanov said.

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia had maintained grain shipments to African and Asian countries, despite Western obstacles that violated the grain deal. He added that a total of 10.5 million tons of grain, mainly wheat, had been supplied, with 60% going to Asia and about 40% to Africa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in September that most of the Ukrainian grain destined for poorer nations was being exported to the West, and not to African countries.

The breakthrough grain deal, brokered by the UN and Türkiye, was signed in July. It was meant to help unlock agricultural exports via the Black Sea from Russia and Ukraine, the world’s leading grain exporters, but came to a halt due to the military conflict between the two states.

Moscow says it has complied with all of the conditions for ships carrying Ukrainian grain to depart from ports in the Black Sea, but has complained for months that the UN’s promise to remove obstacles blocking Russia's own food and fertilizer exports, created by Western sanctions, hasn’t been fulfilled.

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