Putin: West ‘deceived’ Russia on humanitarian goals of Black Sea grain deal

Putin: West ‘deceived’ Russia on humanitarian goals of Black Sea grain deal

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin claimed that the West ‘deceived’ Moscow about the humanitarian goals of the Black Sea Initiative, during a joint press conference with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan following talks in Sochi earlier this week.

The Black Sea grain deal was signed in Istanbul, in July 2022 between the representatives of Turkiye, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Nations.

It has been extended multiple times but expired on July 17, 2023, after Russia pulled out of the deal saying that their side of the agreement was not being implemented.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier stated that Kyiv was determined ‘to continue the work of the Black Sea Grain Initiative or its counterpart in a tripartite format’, including Ukraine, the UN, and Turkiye.

He claimed that the deal had ensured the exports of ‘up to 33 million tonnes of agricultural produce to 45 countries of the world’, with 60 percent shipped to countries in Africa and Asia.

But, during the press conference with Erdogan, Putin revealed that most of it went to wealthy nations, and only a few were delivered to countries that needed it most.

Putin stressed that 32.8 million tonnes of cargo were exported from Ukraine and more than 70% went to wealthy countries mostly in the European Union, while only 3 percent or less than 1 million tonnes of the cargo went to countries that need food assistance.

“…32.8 million tonnes of cargo exported from Ukraine, more than 70%— I want to stress this again – more than 70% went to wealthy countries, first and foremost the countries of the European Union. Whereas only 3% went to countries that really need food aid, that is, less than 1 million tonnes,” according to Pres. Vladimir Putin, Russian Federation.

Putin also pointed out that Russia would be ready to consider the possibility of resuming the grain deal if all the agreements to lift restrictions on exports of Russian agricultural products were implemented.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, hopes that the deal will be revived one way or another. He revealed that a package of consultations with the UN was in the works.

“The alternative proposals placed on the agenda did not meet expectations in terms of security and other aspects. Our Russian friends have made clear their expectations in this regard, and we emphasize these expectations at different platforms,” according to Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkiye.

To recall, the Foreign Ministry of Russia said that ‘the blatant sabotage’ of the  Black Sea Grain deal defeats the purpose of continuing it, which did not live up to its humanitarian rationale’, while Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said that it could return ‘as soon as the Russian part is implemented’.

The uncertainty of the future of the grain deal puts the rest of the world on edge, and to recall, last Sunday, which is days before the talks between Putin and Erdogan took place, Russia launched a barrage of drone attacks at a port located in Odesa region, and this port is being used by Ukraine to export grain.

Ukraine’s Air Force said they shot down 22 out of the 25 drones destined for the Danube River port infrastructure, the country’s main route for shipping grain after the deal broke down in July.


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