By Chris King • 12 May 2023 • 1:14
Image of ship being loaded with grain.
Credit: Ievgen Postovyk/Shutterstock.com
Sergei Vershinin, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia warned on Thursday, May 11, that the Black Sea initiative and the grain deal included in it will cease to exist if the negotiators fail to agree by May 18.
During an interview with RIA Novosti, in response to a question about the options that were available for action if, before the expiration of its validity period, it is not possible to reach an agreement to extend the deal.
Taking into account the interests of the Russian Federation in the supply of fertilisers, Vershinin told the host: “It means that it ceases to exist”.
An initiative that brings unilateral benefits can hardly be recognised and confirmed by all parties he insisted.
At the same time, the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation added that work and contacts on this issue are continuing, but the Russian side is not going to act contrary to the interests of the country.
On May 10-11, four-party talks on the operation of the Black Sea Initiative took place in Istanbul. According to TASS, citing a source, the grain deal for the supply of agricultural products from the ports of Ukraine through the corridor in the Black Sea can probably be extended for two months.
The original Black Sea initiative was signed in Istanbul on July 22, 2022, by representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN.
Their agreement involved Russia’s assistance in the export of Ukrainian grain, food and fertiliser across the Black Sea from three ports, including Odesa.
In Istanbul, a memorandum was also signed between the Russian Federation and the UN, which implied the organisation’s obligations to lift restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to world markets, as reported by gazeta.ru.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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