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17 Jul, 2023 09:03

Black Sea grain deal ‘is terminated’ – Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the end of the agreement is not related to Ukraine’s attack on the Crimean Bridge
Black Sea grain deal ‘is terminated’ – Kremlin

The agreements underpinning the controversial Black Sea grain deal have been “terminated,” the Kremlin announced on Monday morning. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia will immediately return to the arrangement when all parties concerned implement the previously agreed steps.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday – the day the deal expired – Peskov said the “Black Sea agreements effectively ceased to be in effect today.” 

According to the Kremlin spokesman, “as soon as the Russian conditions are met, the Russian Federation will return to the deal… The Grain Deal has come to a halt.” 

Peskov stressed that the other signatories have yet to honor some of the points of the agreement with respect to Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated that Moscow has officially notified Türkiye, Ukraine, and the UN that it will not renew the agreement.

Last Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would “suspend participation in this deal” unless its food and fertilizer exports were unblocked.
He described the arrangement as a “one-sided game all along,” adding that “not a single goal linked to the interests of the Russian Federation was met.” Putin also stressed that, despite this fact, his country had extended the deal numerous times over the past year.

Formally known as the Black Sea Initiative, the agreement between Moscow and Kiev was mediated by the UN and Türkiye last summer. Accompanying the deal was a Russia-UN memorandum aimed at facilitating unimpeded Russian agricultural exports.

The document, among other things, called for the admission of Russia’s major agricultural lender, Rosselkhozbank, back into the SWIFT payment system, as well as enabling deliveries of spare parts for agricultural machinery, sorting out insurance and logistics and “unfreezing” Russian assets.

While the agreement was originally touted as a mechanism for averting famine in poorer nations, the vast majority of Ukrainian grain exported as part of the deal ended up in Europe instead, Moscow claimed.