- Russia threatens to end the UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal if the West does not remove obstacles to the export of its grain and fertilizer by May 18.
- Russia accuses the UN of distorting facts related to grain and fertilizer exports, while UN officials say discussions and communications are ongoing to ensure the implementation of both deals.
Russia has declared that it will not extend the UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal beyond May 18 unless the West resolves several issues relating to the export of Russian grain and fertilizer. The United Nations and Turkey brokered the Ukraine Black Sea grain export deal in July 2022 to alleviate a global food crisis that had worsened due to conflict disrupting exports from two of the world’s leading grain suppliers.
Russia claims that the Black Sea Initiative serves only commercial exports of Kiev in the interests of Western countries and not global food security and assistance to countries in need, as touted by Western powers.
Russia Accuses UN of Distorting Facts Related to Grain and Fertilizer Exports
Russia has accused the UN Secretariat of distorting facts related to grain and fertilizer exports, claiming that the two agreements are interconnected parts of one package. UN officials have stated that discussions and communications are ongoing with the parties to ensure the implementation of both deals.
While Russia claims that the Black Sea Initiative serves only commercial exports of Kiev in the interests of Western countries, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric noted that concrete results have contributed to the following, which have called at Russian ports for fertilizer and a lowering in insurance.
- Larger grain trade volumes
- Lower freight rates
- An increased number of ships
Russia Demands Removal of Obstacles to Export of Grain and Fertilizer
Russia has made several demands, including:
- Reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT payment system
- Resumption of supplies of agricultural machinery and parts
- Lifting of restrictions on insurance and reinsurance
- Access to ports
- Resumption of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline
- Unblocking of assets and accounts of Russian companies involved in food and fertilizer exports
Although food and fertilizer exports are not sanctioned, Moscow claims that payment restrictions, logistics, and insurance are barriers to shipments.
Western powers have imposed tough sanctions on Russia over its 24th Feb 2022 invasion of Ukraine. While its food and fertilizer exports are not sanctioned, Moscow has cited shipment barriers due to restrictions on payments, logistics, and insurance.