Russia announces termination of grain deal (updated)

Russia announces termination of grain deal (updated)

On Monday, the Russian side sent its objections to the extension of the grain deal to Türkiye, Ukraine, and the UN and de facto suspended it.

According to Ukrinform, Interfax reported this with reference to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

"Russia today officially notified the Turkish and Ukrainian sides, as well as the UN Secretariat, of its objections to the agreement’s extension," Zakharova said.

According to her, "a statement from the Foreign Ministry with detailed explanations of the Russian position will be published soon."

Read also: Last ship with Ukrainian grain leaves port of Odesa ahead of grain deal deadline - media

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the termination of the grain deal. He reminded that de facto "the Black Sea agreements have ceased to be in force today" and then passed on the Russian president's argument. Namely, "the part of these Black Sea agreements that concerns Russia has not been fulfilled so far, so it is terminated." "As soon as the Russian part of the agreements is fulfilled, the Russian side will return to the implementation of this agreement, immediately," Peskov told reporters.

As reported the day before, the last vessel under the UN-brokered agreement allowing the safe export of Ukrainian grain to the Black Sea left the port of Odesa on Sunday morning before the agreement's July 17 deadline.

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

The Black Sea Grain Agreement was signed in July 2022. Two documents were signed for this purpose: one with the participation of the UN, Türkiye, and Ukraine, and a separate one by the UN, Türkiye, and Russia.

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

Moscow's main demand was to restore Russian Agricultural Bank's access to the SWIFT international interbank network, from which the EU expelled Russia in June 2022 for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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

The EU is considering connecting Russian Agricultural Bank's subsidiary to SWIFT, which would allow for grain and fertilizer transactions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that last week UN Secretary General António Guterres sent a letter to Putin. In the letter, Guterres suggested that Moscow extend the agreement for several months to give the EU time to connect the subsidiary of Russian Agricultural Bank to SWIFT.

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