On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Western countries were not living up to their end of the UN-brokered grain export deal that unlocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
One part of the agreement was to help facilitate the export of Russian grain and fertilizer, which has been impeded due to Western sanctions. US sanctions on Russia technically have exemptions for grain and fertilizer, but the measures discourage shipping firms, insurance companies, and banks from doing business with Russia altogether.
“Our Western colleagues are not doing what we were promised by the UN Secretary-General,” Lavrov said. “They are not taking decisions to remove the logistic sanctions that prevent the free access of Russian grain and fertilizers to world markets.”
The US has previously tried to clarify to international businesses that sanctions on Russia don’t apply to shipments of grain and fertilizer, but it’s not clear if their clarifications had much impact.
Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said it’s possible the grain deal won’t be extended due to the lack of Russian exports. The agreement was signed in July and is meant to last 120 days but can be extended if the parties agree.
“We want to see the Russian part of the deal implemented so far,” Nebenzya said, according to the Russian news agency TASS. When asked if grain or fertilizer has been exported under the deal, he said, “No, nothing.”