Moscow names a different term for the grain deal
RRussia insisted over the weekend that it had extended the Istanbul agreement to export grain from three occupied Ukrainian ports by 60 days instead of 120. Reports to the contrary are “wishful thinking or intentional manipulation,” said the country’s representation at the United Nations (U.N.).
The so-called grain deal was signed in July last year by the UN, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine have been signed. He ended the Russian naval blockade of three Ukrainian ports, which had caused food prices to skyrocket.
The agreement provides for a term of 120 days. The deviation from this is due to Moscow’s attempts to use the agreement as a lever to enforce facilitation for its own grain and fertilizer exports. This is not subject to sanctions, but encounters hurdles as companies refuse to work with Russian market participants.
Moscow finally gave in in the fall
Even before the first extension in the fall, Russia’s President Wladimir Putin opposed the deal that “cheated the poorest countries” and Russia.Then Russia took an attack with air and sea drones on the base of its own Black Sea fleet in the annexed Crimea as an opportunity to suspend the agreement.
Despite Russian threats that they could not guarantee the safety of the freighters, the delegations from the UN, Turkey and Ukraine in the Joint Coordination Center allowed more ships to pass through. Moscow gave in, but is now demanding accommodation that is not directly related to the agreement, such as the return of a state bank to SWIFT and agricultural equipment.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said an extension of the deal, which would have expired on Sunday, was achieved thanks to mediation by the UN and Turkey. He said nothing about a new term. The agreement has so far enabled the transport of 25 million tons of grain on more than 800 ships to world markets and guarantees global food supplies.