Ukraine Grain Deal: Moscow Announces Completion


The agreement, crucial for world food, expired on Monday evening. Russia does not intend to renew him unconditionally.

The news fell after the attack on the bridge in Crimea by Ukraine: the agreement on Ukrainian cereals is “de facto finished”, warns the Kremlin. “Russia will return to the grain deal when its conditions are met. »

A few hours before its expiry at midnight (11 p.m. French time) in Istanbul, uncertainty remained on Monday about the future of the grain agreement in the Black Sea, considered crucial for world food.

Silence and discretion surrounded all weekend the last-ditch maneuvers led by Turkey and the UN to convince Moscow to extend the cereals agreement signed in July 2022 on the Bosphorus.

33 million tonnes of grain for world markets

It has over the past year ensured the safe passage of cargo ships to and from Ukrainian ports despite the war, transporting a total of almost 33 million tonnes of grain destined for world markets.

But Russia has not announced its green light and the Black Sea Grain Initiative is now de facto at a standstill.

This Monday noon, Germany “calls on Russia to make the extension of the agreement possible”. The United Kingdom said it was very “disappointed”. “If Russia does not renew the agreement, it will deprive millions of people of vital access to grain,” said a spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “strongly” condemned Moscow’s “cynical” decision, “despite the efforts of the United Nations and Turkey. The EU is working to ensure food security for vulnerable people around the world,” she tweeted.

“I think that despite today’s statement, my friend Vladimir Putin wants to continue the agreement,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday noon. The Turkish president assured Friday that his Russian counterpart “agreed” with him on the extension of the agreement. But the Kremlin spokesman immediately replied that no such statement had been made.

Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denounced the obstacles to the export of Russian food products and fertilizers, which was to accompany that of Ukrainian products.

He also ruled on Saturday that “the main objective of the agreement, the delivery of cereals to countries in need, particularly on the African continent” was “not achieved”.

The President of the Senate wants to “attack” rather than “negotiate”
According to official data from the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) overseeing the deal in Istanbul, China and Turkey are the primary beneficiaries of the shipments, along with developed economies.

But thanks to the agreement, the World Food Program (WFP) was able to relieve a dozen countries in critical situation such as Afghanistan, Sudan or Yemen.

The President of the Russian Senate, Sergei Mironov, said that Moscow should, in retaliation for the strike of naval drones on the Crimean bridge, attack Ukrainian infrastructure and stop negotiations on the grain agreement.

“That’s what we need to do, not discuss a grain deal that helps Kyiv rulers and their Western masters line their pockets,” he said.

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