Russian government announced that it has decided to suspend its involvement in
the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement, a move that may have significant
implications for world food security and grain markets. Kremlin spokesman
Dmitry Peskov stated that the agreement's validity has expired, resulting in
Moscow's withdrawal, thereby raising uncertainties over global grain supplies
and escalating tensions in the region.
Speaking to reporters, Dmitry Peskov asserted that Russia's decision to suspend its participation in the agreement, which facilitated the safe transportation of Ukrainian grain to global markets, was due to unmet conditions concerning Russia's interests. He also stated that Russia is open to returning to the agreement should its conditions be met. "As soon as the part of the agreement concerning Russia is fulfilled, the Russian side will immediately begin the reinstatement of this agreement," he said.
The agreement, which was last extended for 60 days in May, required certain conditions to be met for Russia to continue its involvement. Moscow sought the removal of obstacles to its grain and fertilizer exports, the readmission of the Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) to the international banking payment system SWIFT, the resumption of agricultural machinery and parts supplies, the lifting of insurance restrictions, the restart of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline, and the unblocking of accounts belonging to Russian companies involved in food and fertilizer exports.
Since its signing on July 22, 2022, under the mediation of Turkey and the UN, the grain corridor agreement has enabled Ukraine to export 32.8 million tons of agricultural products, including 16.8 million tons of corn and 8.9 million tons of wheat. Before the outbreak of conflict, Ukraine typically exported approximately 25-30 million tons of corn and 16-21 million tons of wheat annually, with much of the trade flowing through the Black Sea.
Russia's suspension of participation in the crucial agreement could have far-reaching consequences for global grain markets, given its significant role as a major grain exporter. The situation remains closely monitored by international stakeholders, as any further disruptions to grain supplies may exacerbate existing concerns over food security worldwide.
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WILL PAY THE PRICE
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres indicated that Russia's withdrawal not only resulted in the termination of the related pact to support their grain and fertilizer exports but also expressed concern about its impact on people in need worldwide, as he shared with reporters. "Ultimately, participation in these agreements is a choice. But struggling people everywhere and developing countries don’t have a choice. Hundreds of millions of people face hunger and consumers are confronting a global cost-of-living crisis. They will pay the price," he said.