Russia will not tolerate state of affairs in 'food deal': FM
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko addresses the active "food deal" and emphasizes on the "unfair approach" by partners.
The current state of events in the "food deal" cannot be tolerated, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, commenting on the possibilities for the arrangement's continuation, as the majority of the cargo is going to rich countries, and not poor ones as agreed.
"There is a provision that it is valid for 120 days, after which countries must consider its effect. If necessary, changes can be made to the relevant agreement. We raised the problem because it is obvious that it is impossible to agree with the current state of affairs since it contradicts fundamental understandings that created the context for the subject of work on these documents," Grushko told reporters.
"Analysis of the implementation [of the memorandum] indicates that once again our partners have shown an unfair approach. And if you look at the statistics of ship routes, it is obvious that more than 87% go not to the poorest countries, where there is a real threat of hunger, but to EU countries and other countries which do not face famine. In addition, the decisions that are being made in the EU regarding the lifting of sanctions clearly indicate that the EU does not intend to act in accordance with the memorandum that was signed in Istanbul," the Deputy Minister explained.
If the EU softens the restrictions, then "only for agricultural goods and their delivery to the EU countries," Grushko added.
A few days ago, White House Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said the US sees no signs that the grain deal between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UN is falling apart.
"We believe that this deal brokered by the UN and Turkey is important… We’re going to continue to work with allies and partners to make sure it persists," Kirby said during a press briefing. "Do we see [the deal] falling apart? We see no indications that it’s falling apart now, and it is in fact having the intended effect."
Last month, Guterres noted that since the UN-mediated grain deal was reached in July, over 20 ships have left Ukrainian ports, and an additional 15 ships have departed Istanbul for Ukraine to fill up with food. Due to the Black Sea grain agreement, Wheat prices have dropped by 8%, and the FAO Food Price Index has experienced its greatest dip since 2008.
"In less than one month, 21 ships have departed from Ukrainian ports and 15 vessels have left Istanbul for Ukraine to load up with grain and other food supplies," adding then that "as we speak, more than 560,000 metric tons of grain and other food produced by Ukrainian farmers is making its way to markets around the world."
What is the grain deal?
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed a grain deal mediated by the United Nations in Istanbul.
"The Secretary-General is the witness of the Black Sea initiative, we expect to see the defense minister of the Russian Federation, defense minister of Turkey, and the infrastructure minister of Ukraine signing the deal," a senior UN official told a briefing before the signing of the deal.
The Ukrainian side will have control over the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny, from which grain exports will be organized, according to the agreements. Aside from that, no ships other than those exporting grain and related food products and fertilizers will be permitted to dock at these ports.
Since the agreement has been put into effect, Ukraine has shipped one million tonnes of foodstuff from its three Black Sea ports under the UN-backed grain deal, according to Ukrainian media outlets.