Talks between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, UN on grain deal kick off in Istanbul

  MOSCOW: Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN will discuss at a meeting in Istanbul the extension of the grain deal and the implementation of...

 


MOSCOW: Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN will discuss at a meeting in Istanbul the extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement on grain and fertilizer supplies. The agenda also includes security issues of the operation of the grain corridor. The negotiations will be held in various formats: three-party, four-party, bilateral contacts are also planned, with May 11 being the key day of the negotiations.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin will represent Russia at the meeting. UN Under-Secretary General Martin Griffiths is also taking part in the talks.

Russia has repeatedly stressed that a decision on the further extension of the treaty depends on the fulfillment of the Russian part of the agreement. Lack of progress on this issue threatens the fate of the initiative.

No progress

Despite the efforts of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Russian part of the package deal is still not being implemented.

Moscow continues to insist that progress on the key issues of Russian agricultural and fertilizer exports is necessary for the extension of the deal. Russia's main demands include the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) to the SWIFT system, the resumption of deliveries of agricultural machinery, spare parts and services, the lifting of restrictions on insurance and reinsurance, the lifting of the ban on access to ports, the resumption of the operation of the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline, the unfreezing of foreign assets and accounts of Russian companies involved in the production and transportation of food and fertilizers.

Possible concessions

Experts believe it is possible that the European Union and the United States may agree to lift some of the restrictions imposed on Russia in order to ensure that the grain deal continues. In particular, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on May 10 that Washington and London believed that the grain deal should be extended immediately to ensure food supplies to countries in need. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out that under the deal, the poorest countries receive less than three percent of Ukraine's grain shipments, although they "are priority recipients of humanitarian aid, including food aid."

The sides are also likely to discuss the possibility of involving Turkey's Ziraat Bank in settlements with Russia. Turkey has previously reported the Turkish state bank's potential willingness to conduct transactions for Russian grain and fertilizers.

About grain deal

The agreements on the export of food from Ukraine were concluded on July 22 for a period of 120 days. One of the agreements regulating grain exports from the Kiev-controlled ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. The other deal inked between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN provides for the establishment of a four-party coordination center whose representatives inspect grain ships in order to prevent arms smuggling and false flag operations. Additionally, Russia and the UN signed a memorandum, under which the organization was supposed to engage in efforts to lift anti-Russian restrictions preventing the export of agricultural products and fertilizers.


-News Feed

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Local Glob: Talks between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, UN on grain deal kick off in Istanbul
Talks between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, UN on grain deal kick off in Istanbul
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