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FM Lavrov explained that only 2.5 percent of over 32.5 million tons of Ukrainian grain have been exported to countries in need.
On Friday, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the extension of the grain agreement, which allows the export of grain from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, no longer has a humanitarian but a commercial overtone.
"I don't see what arguments those who want to extend the validity of this Black Sea initiative have because the Ukrainian grain has long since turned into a commercial initiative," Lavrov said.
Since the grain agreement came into effect, some 90 ships for commercial purposes have set sail from Ukrainian ports every month. Barely two ships have set sail each month for the UN World Food Program.
Lavrov explained that only 2.5 percent of over 32.5 million tons of Ukrainian grain have been exported to countries in need, while the rest of the exports went to the European Union (40 percent), China (24 percent), and Turkey (10 percent).
����UN data published last week shows that #China has been the largest beneficiary of the Black Sea Grain Initiative so far, receiving nearly one-quarter of all grains/oilseeds shipped from #Ukraine since the deal was signed 11 months ago. pic.twitter.com/q66BZt9M96
In May, Russia agreed to extend the grain agreement until July 17 and made its further participation in it conditional on compliance with the commitments contained in the Russia-UN memorandum.
In this document, the parties agreed on the reconnection of the Russian agricultural bank Rosselkhoznadzor to the SWIFT system, the supply of spare parts for agricultural machinery to Russia, the unblocking of transport logistics and insurance, the start-up of the export of ammonia to through Ukraine, and the release of frozen Russian assets.
Lavrov said that no progress has been made on these matters. In the event that the grain deal is not extended, however, Russia will supply needy countries with a similar or greater amount of grain free of charge than they currently receive through the Black Sea initiative.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | The Russian government on Wednesday denounced Ukrainian sabotage of the ammonia pipeline in the province of Kharkov, which is key to the Black Sea grain deal. pic.twitter.com/4I9WCbgWqI