Russia says Ukrainian grain export deal ‘de facto ended’

Russia unilaterally suspended the agreement that the UN and Turkey had reached in 2022 to allow Ukrainian grain to leave through the Black Sea. In the opinion of the Kremlin, for a year the measures for Moscow have not been complied with, such as the reconnection of its agricultural bank to Swift and preventing the marketing of its products.

Text: RFI / AFP

The agreement on the export of Ukrainian grains, which expires at midnight (2100 GMT) has “de facto ended,” the Kremlin said on Monday, assuring that Russia is ready to return to the pact “immediately” when its conditions are met.

“The Black Sea deal has de facto ended today,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters.

Peskov assured that “as soon as the part [del acuerdo] concerning Russia is satisfied, the country will immediately return to the grain agreement’.

Signed in July 2022 in Istanbul and already extended twice, the agreement that allows Ukraine to export its cereals through the Black Sea allowed, during the past year, to remove about 33 million tons of cereals from Ukrainian ports, despite of the conflict.

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Moscow has been threatening not to extend it for several weeks, complaining about obstacles to its own deliveries of agricultural products and fertilizers, and assuring that the declared objective of the agreement to allow the delivery of grain to poor countries is not being met.

Following the Kremlin statement, Russian news agencies reported that Moscow had notified Turkey, Ukraine and the UN that it was against extending the deal.

“Russia today officially notified the Turkish and Ukrainian parties, as well as the UN Secretariat of its objection to the extension of the agreement,” the TASS news agency said, citing Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Germany on Monday urged Russia to prolong the agreement, saying it was crucial for food security. “The conflict must not be carried out on the backs of the poorest on the planet,” said German government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann.

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