Russia ready to quit Black Sea grain deal

Russia ready to quit Black Sea grain deal
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The permanent representative of Russia to the UN Geneva office said that Moscow has submitted a list of complaints to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Gennady Gatilov, permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office in Geneva told Reuters on Thursday that Russia submitted concerns to the UN about the Black Sea grain exports agreement. Moscow said that they are prepared to reject renewing the deal next month unless their demands are met.

Gatilov said that Russia delivered a letter containing a list of complaints to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday but declined to provide a copy of the letter.

 "If we see nothing is happening on the Russian side of the deal – export of Russian grains and fertilisers – then excuse us, we will have to look at it in a different way," Gatilov said and added: “We are not against deliveries of grains but this deal should be equal, it should be fair and fairly implemented by all sides."

The UN-Turkey brokered deal allowed Russia to win guarantees for its own grain and fertilizer exports.

But Moscow has repeatedly complained about how the deal is being implemented, arguing that Russia still faces difficulty selling fertilizer and food.

UN Officials will be in Moscow on Sunday to discuss the renewal of the agreement.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson of the UN said that they are in constant contact with officials from Russia, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States “in order to remove the last obstacles to facilitate the export of Russian grain and fertiliser."

Dujarric added that Guterres was committed to having an extended Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The agreement was brokered by the UN and Turkey in July and it helped to set up a food corridor along the Black Sea for the resumption of Ukraine’s grain exports. Ukraine, as one of the biggest grain exporters in the world, was not able to send the grain after the Russian invasion began.