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Russia Warns That Black Sea Grain Deal May Not Be Extended


Russia's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement warning that Moscow is unlikely to ratify an extension of the Black Sea grain initiative beyond May 18 without concessions from the West on Russian exports.

  • Russian MFA: "Without progress on solving five systemic problems...there is no need to talk about the further extension of the Black Sea initiative after May 18."
  • Reuters reports that "Russia also blamed Ukraine and the United Nations for a backlog of inspections of ships exporting grain..." and said that, "key obstacles to its exports need to be removed, including the reconnection of Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) to the SWIFT payment system."
  • Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov told reporters yesterday: "No deal can stand on one leg: It must stand on two legs. In this regard, of course, judging by the state of play today, the outlook [for its extension] is not so great."
  • The leaked Pentagon papers suggest that the US is also dissatisfied with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' willingness to compromise with Moscow on the grain deal, alleging that Guterres was “undermining broader efforts to hold Moscow accountable for its actions in Ukraine.”

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