There are still many questions about extending the grain deal, the Kremlin said

There are still many questions about extending the grain deal, the Kremlin said

There are still many questions regarding the extension of the grain agreement, the Kremlin said

Illustrative photo – The cargo ship Glory (center) departs from the Ukrainian port of Odesa with a cargo of grain, August 7, 2022.

Moscow – There are still “many questions” regarding the extension of Ukraine's grain agreement with Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, according to Reuters. The head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, pointed out “complications” in fulfilling Russian demands, according to AFP. An agreement allowing the export of agricultural crops from Ukrainian Black Sea ports expires on March 18. If neither party objects, it will be extended. However, Russia still refuses to guarantee this.

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Lavrov said today that the situation is complicated, as the parts of the treaty that benefit Russia are not being fulfilled. According to Peskov, “issues regarding the final recipients of the crops” and “the second part of the agreement” still need to be resolved.

By the second part of the agreement, Peskov means the memorandum of understanding between Russia and the United Nations, which enables the export of Russian food and fertilizers, writes Reuters. Although Russian agricultural exports have not been explicitly targeted by Western sanctions, Moscow claims that restrictions on its financial, insurance and logistics sectors are an obstacle to its ability to export products.

The head of the United Nations Conference on of Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Rebecca Grynspan. She and UN Secretary General António Guterres visited Kyiv on Wednesday, where they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Peskov also announced today that Russian President Vladimir Putin currently has no plans to meet with Guterres.

On the occasion of Guterres' visit, the Ukrainian president declared that “extending the agreement beyond March 18 is critically necessary for the whole world”. The UN chief said that Ukrainian and Russian grain and fertilizer exports are important for world food security. According to him, the agreement enabled the export of 23 million tons of grain, and thanks to this “it was possible to reduce food prices in the world by almost 20 percent”.

In addition to the UN, the signing of the grain agreement was also mediated by Turkey.