UNRIC on the end of the Grains Agreement: «Everything is possible»

Bonn / DE. (unric) The agreement mediated by the United Nations and Turkey on the export of Ukrainian grain expired on July 17, 2023. Russia has so far opposed a further extension, UNRIC, the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Germany, reported July 17. President Vladimir Putin has attached conditions to his agreement. From Russia’s point of view, these include an agreement that would allow fertilizer and food to be exported from Russia despite sanctions. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continued to express optimism that the agreement would be renewed, according to agency reports. Citing unnamed UN officials, moreover, according to a report by Russia’s state-run Tass news agency, quote, «anything is possible.» Moscow’s statement was awaited. Shortly before the expiration of the agreement on grain export from Ukraine via the Black Sea, the last ship for the time being had left the port of Odessa on July 16. Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest exporters of grain.

Around the globe, an endless number of public persons from politics and business, whether familiar with the occurrences or not, are commenting on the matter. From the German point of view, a reference to the reaction of the specialist minister is obvious. The German Minister of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Cem Özdemir, suggests being quoted as follows: «Russia makes good on its threat and does not extend the Black Sea Grains Agreement. Putin is taking the poorest of the poor in this world hostage for his atrocious warmongering. There must be an end to the use of hunger as a weapon. Russia must go back to the negotiating table and fully pursue the agreement. We had to expect Putin to renege on the agreement. That’s why the alternative export routes and their expansion are all the more important now, to get Ukrainian grain to European seaports by rail and road, so that it arrives where it is so urgently needed. It’s paying off that the EU took action early – efforts should now be stepped up.»