Russia has withdrawn from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a UN-brokered deal to export Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, which has allowed more than 32 million tonnes of food to be exported by sea from Ukraine since August 2022, more than half to developing countries
The Kremlin’s announcement marks the second time Russia has withdrawn from the grain deal after briefly exiting in November 2022
Russia has complained that western sanctions were holding up a parallel agreement to allow payments, insurance, and shipping for Moscow’s own agricultural exports.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Monday that the agreement had “essentially stopped” and Russia would no longer cooperate with the deal.
Russia would resume its participation in the deal “as soon as the relevant agreements are fulfilled.”
A western diplomat and a UN official confirmed that Moscow had informed stakeholders on Monday that it would withdraw from the deal.
The Kremlin canceled a planned trip by the UN official leading a task force on the imperiled exports to Moscow last week at short notice.
Though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday that he and Putin were “of the same mind on the extension of the Black Sea grain corridor,” his recent embrace of the west in a bid to end Turkey’s economic troubles limited his ability to broker a new extension.
Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, said: “I strongly condemn Russia’s cynical move to terminate the Black Sea Grain initiative, despite UN and Turkey’s efforts.” SOURCE: Financial Times