MOSCOW, June 14 (Reuters) — Russia’s “goodwill” cannot last indefinitely when it comes to renewing the Black Sea grain deal, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, a day after President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was considering withdrawing from the accord.
The deal allowing
to resume sea-borne grain exports was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July last year to help tackle a global food crisis the U.N. said had been exacerbated by Europe’s deadliest conflict since World War Two.
Moscow agreed reluctantly to extend the deal, known by diplomats as the
, until July 17 on condition that it also received help with its own food and fertilizer exports.
“The extension of the grain deal was a goodwill gesture.
has repeatedly made such gestures…,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a regular news briefing.
“But unfortunately, in the absence of reciprocity, the lack of desire on the part of the collective West to fulfill part of the agreements concerning Russia, this manifestation of goodwill and political will cannot be endless,” he said.
“That is why our exit from the deal after its expiry is being considered. But there is no decision yet,” Peskov added.
On Tuesday, Putin accused the West of “cheating” Moscow by failing to deliver on promises to help get Russian agricultural goods to world markets.
Western powers have imposed tough sanctions on Russia following its decision to send tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.
While Russia’s food and
exports are not sanctioned, the West’s restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance pose barriers to shipments, Moscow says.
Putin will discuss the future of the grain deal with African leaders in Russia on June 17, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.
The Russian leader said on Tuesday that Moscow was ready to supply grain for free to the world’s poorest countries.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Kremlin said Putin had discussed supplies of grain, fertilizer and fuel during a phone call with Mali’s interim leader.
(Reporting by Reuters, writing by Gareth Jones editing by Andrew Osborn)
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