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Russia accuses UN of twisting facts about implementation of grain deal

April 13, 2023 at 1:57 pm

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres meet in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 8, 2023 [Mustafa Çiftçi – Anadolu Agency]

Russia, on Thursday, accused the UN of distorting facts about the implementation of the Black Sea grain deal, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the inspection, mentioned by the UN in a recent statement, was not carried out since the organisation’s staff in the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul did not set up a schedule for inspections, in general, and Ukraine cancelled all applications on 5 April.

Neither Kyiv’s refusal to authorise ammonia supplies prescribed in the agreements, nor the lack of any progress in the implementation of the Russia-UN memorandum has ever caused the UN Secretariat to make a public response, the Ministry added.

It further said that the UN does not draw up a schedule to support Ukraine’s demands for registration of more ships in the deal, while Ukraine cancelled the applications after Russia suggested to include in the Ukrainian list the vessels heading not only to the Western but also to the African countries and waiting for their turn since January, as it contradicts Kyiv’s “commercial interests”.

The Ministry said the UN representatives keep silent that deliveries from Ukraine do not help solve problem of high prices for wheat – 70 per cent of Ukrainian exports are fodder corn and fodder crops, not wheat which remains in demand.

READ: Russia does not object to another extension of grain deal, ‘but only for 60 days’

The diplomatic service argued that the supply of Russian crops and fertiliser would help solve this problem, noting that even the free delivery of Russian fertilisers to the poorest countries meets many obstacles.

“The removal of obstacles to Russian agricultural exports was supposed to take place as part of the Russia-UN memorandum, which the UN did not even mention, this time. Such silence is not only a clear indicator of the UN Secretariat’s attitude to the package Antonio Guterres proposed, but also of the absence of any practical results regarding the memorandum,” the Ministry said.

It warned against the possible non-extension of the deal, saying “there can be no discussion of the Black Sea Grain Initiative after 18 May without any progress regarding the five systematic problems.”

The Ministry named all five problems: the first one is reconnecting Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT; the second is resuming supplies of agricultural machinery, spare parts and maintenance service; the third is lifting restrictions on insurance and reinsurance, plus unblocking access to ports; the fourth is restoring the work of the Tolyatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline and the fifth is unblocking foreign assets and accounts of Russian companies related to the production and transportation of food and fertilisers, it said.

READ: Kremlin says outlook for Black Sea grain deal is ‘not so great’