Financial Times: The EU is considering making a concession to a Russia’s Agricultural bank to ensure grain export agreement continuation

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The European Union is studying a proposal for Russia’s Agricultural Bank to set up a subsidiary that would allow it to reconnect to the global financial network as a way to appease Moscow, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The Financial Times said that in light of the bank being subject to sanctions, this step aims to protect the agreement to export grain through the ports of the Black Sea, which allows Ukraine to export food to world markets.

The move comes after Russia said last week it saw no reason to extend the grain export pact beyond July 17 because the West had acted disgracefully toward the agreement, but assured poor countries that Russian grain exports would continue.

The Financial Times quoted informed sources as saying that the Moscow plan, which was put forward in talks being mediated by the United Nations, would allow the unit of the bank to process payments related to grain exports.

It added that the new unit would be allowed to use the global financial messaging system SWIFT, which was closed to Russia’s largest banks after the invasion of Ukraine last year.

Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s largest agricultural producers and major players in the grain and oilseed markets, besides, Russia also dominates the fertilizer market.

Other than returning to Swift, Russia is also seeking to resume supplies of agricultural machinery and spare parts, and to get rid of restrictions on insurance and reinsurance.

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