Russia wants food, fertilizer exports sanctions-free

Moscow complains that the Russia-Ukraine grain exports deal is one-sided, in favor of Kyiv

Russia has agreed to extend the Ukraine grain export deal but only for 60 days because the lifting of sanctions on its food and fertilizer exports is being ignored.

Ukraine has complained that the second extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by Turkey and United Nations was supposed to be for 120 days, but accepted the 60-day extension reached during talks among UN, Russian and Ukrainian officials in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 saw Ukraine’s Black Sea ports blocked by warships until the deal, signed in July, allowed for the safe passage of exports of critical grain supplies from Russia and Ukraine, according to Agence France-Presse.

More than 24.1 million tons have been exported so far under the agreement whose second extension expires on 18 March, according to the UN.

However, Kremlin complained during the talks that the deal on Russian exports was not being respected.

Moscow wants to see deeds, not words on upholding the second part of the package, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said after Monday’s talks with top UN officials at the Palais des Nations UN headquarters in Geneva.

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