The Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Vershinin, expressed his country’s willingness to extend the agreement for the export of cereals through the Black Sea, but only for a period of 60 days, half of the 120 initially agreed and which first extension for that same number of days expires on March 18.
“We have stressed that Russia has no objection to a new extension taking into account that the Istanbul agreements proposed by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, are a package, but the extension will be for 60 days, not 120, as it was before,” Vershinin said in statements reported by the Russian news agency Interfax.
Vershinin further warned that the agreement “will depend on real progress, not only in word, but in deed, for the normalization of our agricultural exports, including bank payments, transportation, insurance, the unfreezing of financial activities and the supply of ammonia through the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline,” he added.
On Monday, March 13, the parties met in Geneva, Switzerland, to try to agree on a new agreement. Vershinin himself explained that the conversation confirmed that “if the commercial export of Ukrainian products is carried out on a regular basis, it generates considerable benefits for Kiev, but there are still barriers for Russian agricultural exporters.”
“The withdrawal of sanctions on food and fertilizers announced by Washington, Brussels and London has not worked,” the Russian diplomat remarked.
The international organization highlighted that the agreement facilitated the export of 24 million tons of cereals in more than 1,600 trips by merchant ships; 55 % of this food went to developing countries.
He highlighted that the price index of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) fell for ten consecutive months from the highs of March 2022, “which clearly demonstrates the positive impact” of the agreement on the markets. world food prices.
Taken from DoubleKey
(Reference image source: Heiko Janowski, Unsplash)
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