June 5, 2023
Maria Zakharova

Maria Zakharova, official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

©MFA Russia / Global Look Press

The observance of Russia’s interests will be at the heart of Moscow’s decision on the future of the grain deal. The Russian authorities are not retreating from their position, said the speaker of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.

“Everything that the Russian leadership said that this agreement is directly linked to the observance of Russian interests – all this is exactly the factor that will underlie the decision,” said the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, whose words are quoted on May 16 RIA News.

Zakharova stressed that there would be no derogation from the conditions included in the agreements and signed by the parties.

The grain deal, adopted by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN, involves the export of Ukrainian grain, food and fertilizer across the Black Sea. In September 2022, the Russian leader said that Western countries take most of the Ukrainian grain for themselves, and do not export it to needy African countries. On March 18, 2023, Moscow extended the deal for 60 days, until May 18.

The grain deal is the main part of the package deal. The second part, the Russia-UN memorandum, designed for three years, provides for unblocking the export of food and fertilizers from Russia, reconnecting the Russian Agricultural Bank to SWIFT, resuming the supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and services, restoring the operation of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline and some other steps. As they say in Moscow, this part of the agreement has not been implemented so far.

Earlier on May 16, the press secretary of the Russian president informed that contacts on the “grain deal” were ongoing, but there were many questions on the initiative remain open.

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