Russia Rejected the Extension of the Ukrainian Grain Agreement

Moscow: none of the Russia-related parts of the Ukrainian wheat agreement, also known as the Black Sea Agreement, have been implemented. Non-renewal of the deal will result in Kyiv losing 500 million dollars a month.

The Kremlin has postponed the extension of the Ukrainian wheat deal until the full implementation of all parts of the agreement that concern Russia. This was announced on Monday by the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, according to whom “the Black Sea wheat agreement has de facto ceased to operate today.”

The agreement between the UN, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey that guarantees the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea was signed on July 22, 2022 and was due to be extended for the fourth time today. Russia accuses the West of regularly sabotaging all parts of Russian agro-industrial exports, from chemical fertilizers to reconnecting the agricultural bank Rosselkhozbank to the Swift interbank telecommunications system.

“Unfortunately, the part of the agreements that concerns Russia has not yet been implemented, so their validity has expired. As soon as the Russian part of the agreements is satisfied, Russia will immediately return to the implementation of the agreement,” Peskov said.

Russia’s position on the suspension of participation in the wheat deal was announced before today’s terrorist attack on the bridge connecting Russian territory with the Crimean Peninsula, as a result of which a seven-year-old girl was seriously injured and her parents died on the spot. Peskov emphasized that the attack did not affect Moscow’s decision, “No, these events are absolutely unrelated to one another. Russia’s position was expressed on July 13 by President Vladimir Putin. As soon as our requirements are satisfied, we will return to the implementation of the deal,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

On Sunday, Washington threatened Russia, announcing “serious consequences” if Moscow refused to participate in the agreement on Ukrainian wheat. “If Russia backs out of the wheat agreement, it will mean serious diplomatic consequences, real bloodshed,” said White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Yesterday, the last Ukrainian ship that was granted safe passage under the Black Sea wheat deal left the port of Odessa, carrying 15.3 thousand tons of rapeseed and 23.5 thousand tons of corn. The agreement was seen as crucial for preventing a global food crisis and fighting hunger in developing countries. In his speech at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg in June, President Putin said that only 4% of Ukrainian grain went to the poorest countries and countries of Latin America, while the lion’s share was accumulated by the West.

The Black Sea initiative allowed Ukraine to export $9.8 billion worth of grains last year, while the non-renewal of the deal will cost Kyiv half a billion dollars a month.