Failure to extend grain deal will cost Russia dearly - Biden's adviser

Failure to extend grain deal will cost Russia dearly - Biden's adviser

If the Russian authorities do not extend the Black Sea Grain Agreement, it will come at an enormous diplomatic cost to Russia.

U.S. national security adviser Jacob Sullivan said this on the CBS News channel's Face the Nation program.

"It is possible that Russia pulls out of it [the grain deal], it is possible they continue. If in fact, they pull out of it, the rest of the world will take a look at that and say that Russia has turned its back on ensuring that the countries of the Global South and Africa and Latin America and Asia can get the food they need at affordable prices. And I think that will come at an enormous diplomatic cost to Russia going forward. So this is a choice Vladimir Putin is going to have to make," he said.

Read also: Blinken: Grain initiative should be extended and expanded for food security

Sullivan also added that the United States continues to work with the Ukrainian authorities on this issue.

"We are prepared for any scenario and we're working closely with the Ukrainians on that," he said.

The Black Sea Grain Agreement was concluded in July 2022. For this purpose, two documents were signed, including one by the UN, Turkey and Ukraine and another by the UN, Turkey and Russia.

Putin has repeatedly threatened not to extend the agreement, demanding the lifting of sanctions and obstacles to Russian exports.

The European Commission is helping the United Nations and Turkey with efforts to extend the agreement and is ready to "explore all solutions," an EU spokesperson said on Thursday, July 13.

Currently, Moscow's main demand is to restore Rosselkhozbank's access to the SWIFT international payment system, from which the EU excluded Russia in June 2022 due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The EU is considering connecting to SWIFT a subsidiary of Rosselkhozbank to allow specifically for grain and fertilizer transactions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had sent a letter to Putin this week. In the letter, Guterres suggested that Moscow extend the agreement for several months, giving the EU time to connect a Rosselkhozbank subsidiary to SWIFT.

The day before, Putin said that none of Moscow's conditions had been met for the extension of the agreement.

The grain deal expires on July 17. 

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