The European Union cannot agree with Russia on the resumption of the “Black Sea initiative”. This was stated by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, at a press conference in New York.
“I don’t think it’s a question of conditions or the removal of any restrictions or sanctions. Because our sanctions do not affect the export of food and fertilizers. Possibility of reaching an agreement [с Россией] no, because I am sincerely convinced that they do not want this,” Borrell said (quoted by RIA Novosti).
The “Black Sea Initiative” or grain deal was valid from July 22, 2022 to July 18, 2023. It was concluded by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN. The essence of the deal was the possibility of exporting Ukrainian grain, food and fertilizers from three ports along a safe corridor in the Black Sea in exchange for unblocking Russian exports of food and fertilizers, reconnecting Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT, as well as resuming the supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and service.
Russia has warned the UN that it will not extend the grain deal. President Vladimir Putin previously stated that Western countries did not fulfill their obligations to the Russian Federation. He also noted that most of the grain from Ukraine was received by high-income countries, although the purpose of the deal was to provide food to countries in need.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on September 13 that he would discuss plans to revive the grain deal with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as with the presidents of Ukraine and Turkey, Vladimir Zelensky and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.