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Air raid sirens sound across Ukraine

Air raid sirens sound across Ukraine

Lavrov says the future of the Black Sea grain deal depends on meeting the current conditions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that the future of the vital grain deal in the Black Sea depends on meeting the current conditions.

The deal guarantees safe passage for ships carrying Ukraine’s grain exports, which are key to the world’s food supply, but is set to expire at the end of this month.

Lavrov said that the first term is “Ukrainian grain export, and it takes place after the use of the humanitarian corridor by the Ukrainian armed forces to export grain for military purposes.”

Russia withdrew from the agreement in late October, citing drone strikes on the city of Sevastopol in occupied Crimea as the reason for its withdrawal from the pact.

Russia blamed Ukraine for the Sevastopol attacks. Ukraine has not confirmed that its forces attacked the city.

We suspended this process, but then the Ukrainians assured that they would never do it again. So our Turkish and Western colleagues understand that they must prevent Ukraine from doing these things.

The second term, according to Lavrov, is “the removal of barriers to the export of Russian grain.”

Lavrov praised UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who he said was doing “everything he can”.

“Five months have passed and no real results have been achieved,” Lavrov said. “It’s not about promises. We need to see some action.”

And the Secretary-General of the United Nations assures us, quoting his Western colleagues, that all economic actors who secure the logistical supply chains for fertilizers and grains from Russia assure him that no sanctions will be imposed on the implementation of trade agreements on grains, including the entry of Russian ships into European ports and entry of foreign ships to our ports.

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Lavrov said he hoped the UN would keep its promises, especially since Guterres himself “said it was a matter of principle,” according to Lavrov.

Some background: The deal outlined a procedure to ensure the safety of ships carrying Ukrainian grain, fertilizer and other foodstuffs through a humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea.

Under the agreement, all ships arriving and leaving Ukrainian ports were checked and monitored by international teams made up of officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations.