Moscow: Russia has terminated its participation in the Black Sea grain export deal as part of the agreement concerning Moscow has not been fulfilled, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced on Monday.
“The Black Sea agreements are no longer in effect. The deadline, as the Russian President said earlier, is July 17. Unfortunately, the part of the Black Sea agreement that concerns Russia has not yet been fulfilled. As a result, it has been terminated,” the state-run TASS News Agency quoted Peskov as saying.
The spokesman also clarified that termination of the deal was not connected to the unspecified emergency incident at the Kerch bridge that connected mainland Russia to the occupied Crimean Peninsula earlier on Monday, that led to the deaths of two people, while one other person was injured.
“The position of Russia on the suspension of participation in the grain deal was announced before the terrorist act on the Crimean bridge today and this attack does not influence Moscow’s decision at all.
“These events are absolutely unrelated to each other. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated the position (of Moscow on the grain deal) even before this terrorist attack,” Peskov added.
Amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Kiev, Russia and Ukraine signed separately with Turkey and the UN the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Istanbul in July 2022, which allows the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products from Black Sea ports.
The initiative, initially in effect for 120 days, was extended in mid-November 2022 for another 120 days till March 18, 2023.
At that point, Russia only agreed to extend the deal for 60 days.
On May 17, Russia agreed to extend the deal for another 60 days.
As a parallel agreement, Russia and the UN signed a memorandum of understanding on the facilitation of Russian food and fertilizer exports.
However, little progress had been made on this part of the deal, prompting dissatisfaction from Russia and finally the termination announcement on Monday.