Russian ambassador to Turkey: Reviving grain deal halted, he claims

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics, Ukraine`s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Swiss Confederation President Alain Berset and Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte attend a joint press conference following their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, 25 November 2023. Edgars Rinkevics, Alain Berset, and Ingrida Simonyte arrived in Kyiv to meet with top Ukrainian officials and participate in the International Food Security Summit `Grain from Ukraine`, amid the Russian invasion. EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Despite UN efforts, there has been no progress in reviving the grain initiative, which facilitated the safe export of grain, fertilisers, and other foodstuffs and contributed to the stabilisation of spiralling food prices worldwide, according to Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, Aleksei Erkhov.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Sabah, Erkhov stated, "Our part of the package is at the zero level." The United Nations is making efforts, but they are futile. The problem is that the West continues to impose and maintain restrictions on Russian food and fertilisers."

U.N. officials are attempting to resurrect the Black Sea grain pact, which Russia abandoned in July, a year after it was negotiated by the UN and Turkey, citing hurdles to its own food and fertiliser exports and a lack of Ukrainian grain reaching needy countries.

Ukraine and Russia are both important grain exporters. Russia is also a significant provider of fertiliser to the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, Ukraine established a "temporary export corridor" in August to allow agricultural exports as an alternate arrangement. The government has exported about 5.6 million metric tonnes of grain and other items via the new route.

When questioned if this unilateral corridor put Russia at a disadvantage, the ambassador explained that "it is Ukraine's right to export grain by land - highways, railways, rivers, whatever." All of the dangers are theirs. As well as the highest regard for Eastern European farmers and traders who attempt to protest." /BGNES