A boy plays on the river bank as the Turkey flagged TQ Samsunhe, the last grain ship that left a Ukrainian port since Russia exit the Grain Corridor Agreement one day earlier, is seen in the Marmara Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, 18 July 2023. EFE/EPA/SEDAT SUNA

Russia gives UN 3 months to meet grain deal terms

Moscow/Kyiv, Jul 19 (EFE).- Moscow said Wednesday that the United Nations has three months to implement the terms of a memorandum on Russian agricultural exports before it resumes talks on reinstating a grain deal that allows Ukrainian exports through the Black Sea.

The deal, known as the Black Sea initiative, was agreed by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN last year along with a parallel deal agreed between the UN and Moscow regarding Russian grain and fertilizer exports.

Russia withdrew from the grain deal Monday saying that conditions of its deal with the UN had been breached, warning that it could no longer guarantee the safe passage of ships traveling through the northwestern Black Sea.

“The UN still has three months to achieve concrete results,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told Radio Sputnik.

After pulling out of the grain deal, which has facilitated the export of over 30 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain to global markets, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would immediately return to the implementation of the Black Sea agreements as soon as Russia’s demands have been met, according to Tass news agency.

Among Moscow’s demands are the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural (Rosselkhozbank) to the SWIFT payment system, the lifting of sanctions on the supply of agricultural machinery and spare parts, the unblocking of logistics and transport insurance, the unfreezing of assets and the resumption of operations of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline, which was blown up in June, according to Tass.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday accused Russia of deliberately targeting grain export infrastructure in overnight attacks on Odesa port.

“Every Russian missile is a blow not only to Ukraine but to everyone in the world who wants a normal and safe life,” Zelenskyy said on Telegram.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said Moscow’s “main objective is to destroy the possibility of shipping Ukrainian grain.”

Writing on Twitter, Podolyak said the strike on Odesa “clearly reflected Russia’s attitude towards ‘food security’, African countries, the UN, and the prospects of global hunger.”

Russia launched more than 60 kamikaze missiles and drones against several Ukrainian cities on Tuesday night.

According to Ukraine’s Air Force, the main target was the Odesa region where the attack caused damage to a fuel and a grain terminal at the port.

Tuesday night’s attack was the second launched by Russia this week against the port of Odesa, one of the three Ukrainian ports included in the Black Sea grain agreement.EFE