Russia has reiterated its commitment to its conditions for a return to the Black Sea grain deal, which it withdrew from in July.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized the necessity of reconnecting Russia’s state agricultural bank, rather than its subsidiary as proposed by the United Nations, to the international SWIFT bank payments system.
Peskov emphasized that these conditions are well-established, concrete, and attainable. Russia maintains its unwavering and transparent position, as consistently articulated by the president.
The Black Sea deal, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July 2022, aimed to facilitate Ukraine’s grain exports despite the ongoing conflict and global food crisis.
Simultaneously, it intended to support Russia’s food and fertilizer exports, a commitment Moscow alleges has not been honored.
Following Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal, it conducted multiple bombings of Ukrainian ports and grain facilities, leading Kyiv and Western nations to accuse Russia of weaponizing food.
Russia’s resolute reaffirmation of its stance came after President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, where the grain issue was discussed.
Russia interpreted Erdogan’s statement as encouraging Ukraine to adopt more flexible negotiation approaches and export more grain to Africa instead of Europe.
However, Ukraine remained steadfast, refusing to yield to “Russian blackmail.”
Russia contends that its grain and fertilizer exports, though not explicitly sanctioned by the West, face practical obstacles due to sanctions affecting port access, insurance, logistics, and payments.
This includes the exclusion of Rosselkhozbank, the agricultural bank, from SWIFT.
The United Nations has suggested that a Luxembourg-based subsidiary of Rosselkhozbank could promptly apply to SWIFT to facilitate the bank’s access within 30 days.
Peskov underscored that the agreements specify SWIFT access for Rosselkhozbank, not its subsidiary.
Therefore, Russia insists on adhering to the original agreements and the promised fulfillment of those agreements.
The president has made it clear that the resumption of the deal hinges on the fulfillment of these conditions, not the other way around.