The last grain ship set sail from the port city of Odessa in southern Ukraine on Sunday before a United Nations agreement regulating food exports expires on Monday. Ukraine and Russia still do not agree to extend the agreement.
A year ago, Ukraine and Russia agreed with Turkey and the United Nations to allow grain ships to cross the Black Sea without being stopped by naval vessels. But the Kremlin doesn’t just want to agree to another extension of the agreement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is unhappy with the terms of the deal, because Russian food producers would suffer from Western sanctions.
For example, he wants Russian banks to regain access to the international SWIFT payment system, so that the agricultural sector can once again receive financing and can trade. In addition, Moscow wants to be able to use again an ammonia pipeline through Ukraine, which was closed after the Russian invasion.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that Putin wanted to extend the deal. But in a conversation with South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa, Putin is said to have said that obstacles still need to be removed.
The United States always says that the Russian agricultural sector is not affected at all by Western sanctions, because grain exports increased last year.
“Travel enthusiast. Alcohol lover. Friendly entrepreneur. Coffeeaholic. Award-winning writer.”