Russia opposes extending UN-backed Black Sea grain deal

Russia opposes extending UN-backed Black Sea grain deal
Credit: Raimond Spekking / Creative Commons

Russia has indicated it will not extend the Black Sea Grain deal, due to expire on 17 July, while it accuses the Western powers of "blocking Russian agricultural exports."

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a threat to withdraw Russia from the agreement on Ukrainian cereals, established between the UN and Turkey in July 2022.

The Kremlin has stated that its agricultural sector, one of the world’s largest, is being impacted by sanctions while Ukraine gets to "commercially export its food to well-fed countries."

Russia is also accusing Ukraine of blowing up a major pipeline linking the Russian town of Tolyatti to the Ukrainian port of Odesa at the beginning of June, which was being used to export ammonia and fertiliser. While it had been deactivated since the start of the Russian offensive in February 2022, Moscow was campaigning for it to be reactivated, until the explosion.

Ukraine accuses Russia of having stopped the registration of Ukrainian ships since 26 June, causing the implementation of the agreement to stall.

According to Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, 29 ships loaded with 1.4 million tonnes of grain are currently waiting in the Bosporus Strait due to a lack of inspections.

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