Putin discusses Russia's losses from grain deal and terms for its resumption

MOSCOW:  Russia is ready to return to the grain deal immediately if all previously agreed-upon conditions for its participation in the initi...


MOSCOW:  Russia is ready to return to the grain deal immediately if all previously agreed-upon conditions for its participation in the initiative are met and the arrangement's "original humanitarian essence" is restored, President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with government officials on Wednesday.

According to him, Western countries entirely twisted the essence of the grain deal, resulting in profits for European companies and losses for Russian businesses.

Failure to fulfil obligations

Russia repeatedly extended the grain deal, demonstrating "miracles of endurance and patience, tolerance," but no one was going to fulfill any responsibilities to the country, Putin said.

Russia had to deal with "arrogance and impudence," as well as "promises and empty talk" from the West. The West did everything it could to derail the deal, and now Western countries are "virtually lying to the entire world" and "claiming that Russia is allegedly to blame for the disruption of this deal."

UN personnel "sincerely tried to fulfill all of the West's commitments, but were unable to do that," he added.

In addition, the West fully perverted the grain deal's original humanitarian intent, turning it into a profit tool. "At first, the meaning or the intent of the grain deal had enormous humanitarian significance. The West completely perverted this essence," he said. "Instead of truly assisting countries in need, [the West] used the grain deal for political blackmail, and, as I previously stated, turned it into a tool for making money for transnational corporations and profiteers on the global grain market," Putin added.

Russia’s losses

Putin noted that the grain deal led to direct losses for Russian farmers. "This [grain deal] turned into direct losses and losses for Russian agricultural producers, for enterprises producing fertilizers," he said at a meeting with the government. According to him, "because of a 30-40% discount on Russian grain on global markets, the losses of Russian farmers amounted to $1.2 bln."

Putin added that "domestic fertilizer producers also faced a similar problem - their losses reached $1.6 bln." "For example, the cost of imported spare parts for equipment for them has grown by 40% and the growth of costs in financial transactions was about 10%," the president stated.

According to him, the West even creates obstacles to Russia's free deliveries of fertilizers to the poorest countries. "None of the conditions of this [grain] deal have been met, including the lifting of sanctions on Russian grain and fertilizer exports to global markets. Furthermore, even the free deliveries of mineral fertilizers by us to the poorest countries are being hampered," he said at a meeting with the government.

Putin added that "out of 262,000 tons of products blocked in European ports, only two batches were sent - 20,000 tons to Malawi and 34,000 tons to Kenya." "All this despite the fact that we are talking about a purely humanitarian initiative, to which no sanctions should apply in general," the Russian leader stressed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the assertions about the global importance of Ukrainian grain as speculative and false. "Russia has a 20% share of the global wheat market, while Ukraine has less than 5%. These numbers speak for themselves," he said.

Putin emphasized that "it is Russia that makes a colossal contribution to global food security. And any claims that only Ukrainian grain feeds the hungry all over the world are speculative and false," he added.

He also added that Russia is prepared to replace Ukrainian grain on the global market, both free and commercial volumes. "I want to assure you that our country is capable of replacing Ukrainian grain both commercially and for free, especially since we expect another record-breaking harvest this year," he said.

Return is possible

Russia was opposed to the deal's extension because continuing it "in the form in which it existed" had lost any meaning, Putin said. Moscow "is not against the grain deal as such" and "will consider the possibility of returning to it," but only if all previously agreed-upon conditions for participation are met.

These conditions include lifting sanctions on Russian grain and fertilizer deliveries, removing all obstacles for Russian banks servicing food supplies to the global market, including their connection to SWIFT, resuming deliveries of components and spare parts for agricultural machinery and fertilizer production to Russia, resolving all issues with ship chartering and insurance of Russian food exports, resuming operations of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline, unblocking Russian agricultural assets, and restoring the grain deal's original humanitarian intent.

The grain deal was concluded on July 22, 2022, in Istanbul. The first part of the agreements for a period of 120 days with the possibility of automatic extension was signed by the UN and Turkey separately with Russia and Ukraine. It concerned the export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea. The second part for a period of three years was signed by the UN and Russia - this memorandum dealt with the removal of restrictions on exports of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers. The agreement was later extended three times, the last two times for 60 days. At the same time, Moscow repeatedly stated that the Russian part of the deal, which has not been implemented, should also be fulfilled.


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Local Glob: Putin discusses Russia's losses from grain deal and terms for its resumption
Putin discusses Russia's losses from grain deal and terms for its resumption
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