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👉 Russia confirmed on Saturday its unyielding stance on the terms required to rejoin the Black Sea grain agreement, which it withdrew from in July.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov emphasized that Russia insists on reconnecting its primary state agricultural bank to the international SWIFT bank payment system, rather than a subsidiary, as suggested by the United Nations.
"Our requirements have been clearly laid out. There's no need for further clarification as they're specific and entirely attainable," remarked Peskov. "Hence, Russia upholds its transparent, unwavering, and consistent stance, a sentiment often echoed by our president."
Initiated by Turkey and the UN in July 2022, the Black Sea agreement aimed to ensure Ukraine could continue exporting grain via sea routes amid the conflict, mitigating the worldwide food scarcity.
This pact also encompassed provisions to bolster Russia's export capacities for food and fertilizers. However, Russia claims these commitments have not been honored. Post their exit from the agreement, Russian forces have consistently targeted Ukrainian ports and grain facilities. Such actions have led Kyiv and Western nations to allege that Russia is weaponizing food.
This reaffirmation of Moscow's stance comes in the wake of a recent discussion between President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, centered on the grain deal.
Erdogan's remarks during the meeting, suggesting that Ukraine should be more flexible in its discussions and prioritize exporting grain to Africa over Europe, seem to have bolstered Russia's confidence. Contrarily, Ukraine remains steadfast, refusing to succumb to what it describes as "Russian coercion."