Russia announces suspension of Black Sea grain initiative

Russia announces suspension of Black Sea grain initiative

Russia announced on Monday that it will not renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BCNI), a set of two agreements sponsored by the United Nations and Turkey and concluded separately with Kyiv and Moscow in July 2022.

The announcement was made by Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who confirmed the end of the initiative that transported more than 32 million tons of food to 45 countries on three continents, according to UN figures.

“The cereal agreement is stopped. When the part of the Black Sea Agreement concerning Russia is implemented, Russia will immediately resume implementation of the agreement”Peskov said in a conference call with reporters.

Russia has repeatedly announced its intention to withdraw from this agreement, pointing to an implementation “unbalanced” as well as “the absence of concrete progress” concerning a series of conditions set by Moscow.

The initiative was extended with forceps for a period of two months, on May 17, after intense negotiations, without however resolving the main stumbling blocks linked to the Russian part of the agreement.

Last April, Moscow made the extension of the agreement conditional on progress being made on five requirements, ranging from the reconnection of the Russian bank specializing in agriculture Rosselkhozbank to the resumption of operation of the ammonia pipeline. Togliatti-Odessa.

However, a portion of this infrastructure nearly 2,400 km long was destroyed on June 5 near Massioutovka, a small village in the Kharkiv region (north-eastern Ukraine). An act which Moscow and kyiv accuse each other of being responsible for, but which risks having a “negative impact” on the future of the grain agreement, according to the Kremlin.

The last ship concerned by the grain agreement, the ship Samsun, flying the Turkish flag, left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on July 16th. The cereal initiative was renewed in November, March and May.


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