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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Towards a suspension of the global grain agreement involving Turkey, Russia and Ukraine?

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While the validity of the grain agreement ends on March 18 and it is supposed to be extended for four more months, Russia is dragging its feet and begins to mention difficulties in its full realization, as well as ” questions that remain to be raised “.

With our correspondent in Moscow, Julian Colling

It was Russia’s chief diplomat Sergei Lavrov who put his foot in the dish on Thursday 9 March. According to him, from Moscow’s point of view, the points of the agreement intended to benefit Russia are not “ no way ” implemented. If the agreement is not respected only half », then its extension becomes « rather complicated “, he estimated after a bilateral meeting with his Saudi counterpart.

Thus, according to Moscow, obstacles remain to the export of Russian cereals and fertilizers. And by “obstacles”, we must understand the sanctions aimed in particular at the ships and ports of the Russian Federation. This would prevent, according to Moscow, its ships from arriving at their destination as well as foreign ships from docking in Russia.

► To listen also: How do the sanctions affect Russia?

Now is not the time for optimism

Later in the day, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, in turn pointed the finger at Western countries. It is up to them, according to her, to guarantee the full implementation of the agreement. On March 2, Moscow was already accusing the West of “ sabotage » the Russian part of the agreement. Some 260,000 tons of fertilizer destined for the poorest countries had supposedly been blocked in the ports of the Baltic countries.

So, is this a way of preparing the international community for an imminent refusal to extend the agreement? According to Russian Foreign Affairs, this is not the time for optimism. A new negotiation meeting is still scheduled for Monday, March 13 in Geneva under the auspices of the UN.

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