Russia issues ultimatum over grain deal — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

West should remove all barriers hampering agricultural exports within 60 days, Moscow’s UN envoy says

Western countries have two months to lift sanctions on Russian agricultural exports if they want to maintain the grain deal with Ukraine, Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Friday.

Speaking before the UN Security Council, Nebenzia said that even if Moscow had agreed to expand the program to unlock agricultural exports through the Black Sea, it could only continue if Western countries responded to the concerns expressed. by Russia.

Nebenzia recalled that the grain deal not only aims to secure agricultural exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, but also aims to promote Russian food and fertilizer deliveries to the world market. In this regard, the agreement “is not implemented, not at all” he said.

Moscow has repeatedly demanded that the West lift both “direct and indirect sanctions” on Russian agricultural exports. These include restrictions related not only to the transfer of goods themselves, but also to the provision of insurance services to Russia and the supply of relevant technologies and agricultural machinery.

“If Washington, Brussels and London really want Ukrainian food exports to continue through the Humanitarian Maritime Corridor for their benefit, they have two months to exempt the entire chain of operations that serve Russian agricultural exports from sanctions, with the help of United Nations. “, said the ambassador.

He also alleged that the grain deal was being transformed from a humanitarian deal to a trade deal, with western agricultural companies the main beneficiaries by profiting from rising food prices and the destabilization of chains. of food supply. At the same time, the poorest countries only receive 3% of agricultural deliveries under the grain deal, Nebenzia said.

Next steps under the agreement “will depend on the progress that will be made in resolving the issues we have reported”, he added.

On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Moscow had agreed to renew the grain deal, originally reached last July, for 60 days. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov described the move as “a gesture of goodwill” expressing the hope that “After such a long time, the conditions and obligations that have been assumed by the well-known parties will be fulfilled.”

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