Kremlin on Grain Deal: Position of Western Countries Complicates Process

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A harvester collects wheat in Semikarakorsky District of Rostov-on-Don region near Semikarakorsk, Southern Russia, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Russia is the world’s biggest exporter of wheat, accounting for almost a fifth of global shipments. It is expected to have one of its best ever crop seasons this year. Agriculture is among the most important industries in Russia, accounting for around 4% of its GDP, according to the World Bank. (AP Photo)InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is faced with the unconstructive position of some Western countries regarding the Russian part of the grain deal, this complicates the process, but contacts will continue, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. “This is one of the indicators that, despite all the efforts of the UN, Guterres, he is faced with, let’s say, the unconstructive position of some Western [states]. It really complicates this process. It complicates, perhaps, the implementation of the Russian part of the Black Sea initiative, the Black Sea deal. But, nevertheless, contacts, as we said, continue, will continue because, yes, the deal has been extended for 2 months, but 2 months is a fairly short period, it will end fairly quickly,” Peskov told reporters.Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the grain deal had been extended until July 17 without any changes, but if all problematic issues of the initiative, including the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system, are not resolved in two months, it would be terminated after July 17.Istanbul Grain DealKremlin Confirms Grain Deal Extension, Cites Some Results, Hopes18 May, 10:24 GMTIn an interview with a Russian newspaper released earlier in the day, spokesman for EU foreign affairs Peter Stano said that the bloc may restore access to the SWIFT payment system for Russian banks, including Russian Agricultural Bank, only after the conflict in Ukraine ends. The deal was reached by Russia, Ukraine, Turkiye and the UN on July 22, 2022 to provide a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships carrying food and fertilizer exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports.


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