UNITED NATIONS, June 6 (NNN-TASS) — The United Nations continues negotiations with Russia and Ukraine to extend the grain deal, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said.
“The discussions are going on. We keep constant discussions with our partners within the framework of the JCC (Joint Coordination Centre), including the Russian Federation and Ukraine. And as we’ve said many a times, the grain initiative is critical to address world food prices and hunger, as is the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) we signed with the Russian Federation on fertilizer and grain,” he said.
“The agreement obviously has to be discussed and negotiated with the parties but I’m not going to start talking about required preconditions,” Dujarric added.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said earlier on Monday that Russia sees no prospects for extending the grain deal again, but consultations with UN representatives on existing agreements continue.
The diplomat stressed that Ukraine has been putting forward various conditions for the implementation of the grain deal, which has already brought the situation to a standstill.
On July 22, 2022, a package of documents on the supply of food and fertilizers to the international market was signed in Istanbul. Initially, the agreements were concluded for 120 days, in November of last year they were extended for the same period.
On March 18, 2023, Russia announced a 60-day extension of the deal, warning that this would be enough time to evaluate the implementation of the memorandum signed with the UN.
Following the results of the talks between the delegations of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN held in Istanbul on May 10-11, Vershinin reported that the grain deal would be terminated if Moscow did not receive guarantees by May 18 that its requirements regarding the export of agricultural products and fertilizers would be met.
On May 17, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the grain deal had been extended for two months starting May 18.
The Russian Foreign Ministry previously emphasized that the part of the agreement that concerns obligations to Moscow is not being fulfilled. Russia, in particular, insisted its ships be given renewed access to foreign ports, normalizing the situation with dry cargo insurance, reconnecting the Russian Agricultural Bank the SWIFT interbank payment system and launching the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline. — NNN-TASS