The Russian Federation made a statement on the Grain Corridor Agreement, which was initiated by the efforts of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Russia said on March 18 that it was not opposed to extending the Grain Corridor Agreement, the second term of which had expired. However, he wanted this period to be limited to 60 days. Ukraine called Russia’s decision “controversial”.
Russia has said it has no objection to a 60-day extension of the Grain Corridor Agreement, which expires March 18.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin held a meeting in Geneva with Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Rebeca Greenspan, UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths on the extension of the Grain Agreement corridor. He then made a written statement.
“EXCEPTIONS FROM SANCTIONS DO NOT APPLY”
Vershinin pointed out that the focus of the discussion is the implementation of the “package” agreements signed in Istanbul on July 22, 2022, with the “Black Sea Initiative” on the export of 2 interconnected parts of Ukrainian food and raw materials for fertilizers, including ammonia, and local agriculture. He stated that there is a Russia-UN Memorandum of Understanding on the normalization of exports.
Noting that at a comprehensive and frank meeting, Vershinin confirmed that restrictions on Russian exporters of agricultural products continue to apply, despite the stable pace of commercial exports of Ukrainian products, bringing significant profits to Kiev, adding that the announced sanctions relief on food and fertilizers by Washington, Brussels and London are essentially ineffective.
“MAY LAST UP TO 60 DAYS”
In this context, Vershinin said that Russia, taking into account the package nature of the Istanbul agreements proposed by UN Secretary General António Guterres, has no objection to extending the Grain Corridor Agreement, which expired on March 18, for another 60 days. only.
“Our next position will depend on making concrete progress in normalizing our agricultural exports, not in words but in deeds.” Vershinin also said that it will include bank payments, transport logistics, insurance, financial settlement and the supply of ammonia through the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline.
UKRAINE: RUSSIA’S DECISION IS CONTRADICTORY
Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov has once again criticized Russia’s support for a 60-day extension of the Grain Corridor Agreement, which expires on March 18, saying the decision runs counter to the agreement.
Kubrakov, who made a statement on the matter on his Twitter account, said: “(This) is contrary to the document signed by Turkey and the United Nations (UN). As guarantors of the initiative, we are waiting for the official position of the UN and Turkey.”
The grain corridor agreement was signed in Istanbul on July 22, 2022 between Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and the UN. The agreement has been extended for 120 days from November 19, 2022.
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