Moscow is calling for the lifting of restrictions on its exports in return for extending the grain agreement with Ukraine
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Saturday the extension of the agreement that allowed the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, without specifying the duration of the extension.
Hours before the agreement expires at midnight on Saturday, Sunday, Erdogan said in remarks broadcast on Turkish television, “After talks with both sides, we confirmed the extension of the agreement, which was supposed to expire on March 19”.
One the same context, Russia linked its agreement to extend the export of Ukrainian grain to demands to lift Western restrictions on exports of its agricultural products.
“If Washington, Brussels and London are really interested in continuing food exports from Ukraine by sea, they have two months to remove the entire chain of operations related to Russian agricultural exports from the scope of sanctions,” Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, said in New York late Friday with the help of the United Nations.
Otherwise, he questioned a new extension of the export deal brokered last summer to allow millions of tons of suspended grain to leave Ukraine by ship.
And after Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Moscow used its warships to blockade Ukraine’s ports in the Black Sea, stopping supplies from one of the world’s largest food exporters.
Initially, it was agreed that the agreement would continue for 120 days, then it was extended for another 120 days in the fall, and recently for another 60 days before it expires on Sunday.