Russia says to quit grain deal
Photo: Depositphotos

Russia on Monday announced it is pulling out of the Black Sea initiative, which has helped ship millions of tonnes of grain from besieged Ukrainian ports.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman of Russia’s president, told a briefing that "the Black Sea agreements have in fact ceased to be in force today".

"The part of these Black Sea agreements concerning Russia has not been fulfilled so far, so it is terminated," he was quoted as saying by Russian state media.

"As soon as the Russian part of the agreements is fulfilled, the Russian side will return to the implementation of this agreement immediately. This is the de facto situation."

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova later said that Russia had officially notified Turkey, Ukraine, and the UN of its "objections to the extension of the grain deal".

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN signed the grain deal a year ago to ensure the safe export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports. The agreement is in the form of two trilateral treaties – there are no direct agreements between Ukraine and Russia.

The last vessel to leave the port of Odesa under the grain deal, the TQ Samsun bulk carrier with corn bound for the Netherlands, left on Sunday, 16 July.

Since the beginning of July, only eight vessels with 291,000 tonnes of agricultural products have left the Black Sea ports.

In October 2022, Russia had already withdrawn from the grain deal, but Turkey and the UN began inspecting ships carrying Ukrainian grain themselves, forcing Russia to quickly change its mind.