FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a news conference after talks with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov in Baku, Azerbaijan February 28, 2023. Russia’s Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

March 2 (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday accused the West of “blatantly burying” the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which facilitates the export of Ukrainian agricultural products from its ports from the south, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Despite sticking to the deal, Russia has repeatedly criticized the Western approach to the deal, reached last July, saying countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow are not trying hard enough to ease restrictions on Russian exports themselves, especially fertilizers.

According to RIA, Lavrov told a meeting of G20 foreign ministers, referring to the grain deal: “The West is brazenly burying the well-known humanitarian initiative of the Secretary-General of the UN”.

The current phase of the deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN, ends on March 18. It will be extended if neither party files a formal objection. Before the deadline for the extension of the agreement expired in November, Russia also intensified its criticism of the agreement in an attempt to obtain more concessions from the West, but ultimately left the agreement. be extended for a further 120 days.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that it would only agree to a second extension of the deal if the interests of its own agricultural producers were taken into account.

Russia’s agricultural sector has not been explicitly hit by Western sanctions, but Moscow says they are affecting payments, transportation and insurance, posing a “hurdle” to its grain and fertilizer exports.

(Reuters reporting; Spanish edition by Flora Gómez)

Categorized in:

Tagged in:

, , , , , ,