Lavrov discussed grain deal with Turkish Foreign Minister

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Lavrov told Çavuşoğlu that the grain deal depends on taking Russia’s interests into account

The grain deal may be extended if Russia’s interests are taken into account, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

According to the ministry, the meeting was held on March 1 on the sidelines of the “Group of Twenty” in New Delhi, the sides exchanged views on the Russian-Turkish political dialogue and cooperation in the trade and economic sphere, including measures to help Turkey in dealing with the consequences of the earthquake.

“While discussing prospects for the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the Russian side stressed that the continuation of the “package” agreement on grain is possible only if the interests of Russian producers of agricultural products and fertilizers in terms of unhindered access to world markets are taken into account,” the ministry said in a statement.

The grain deal signed by representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations on July 22, 2022, involves the export of Ukrainian grain, food and fertilizers by the Black Sea from three ports, including Odessa. The Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul is in charge of coordinating vessel traffic. The agreement expired on November 18, 2022, but was supposed to be prolonged automatically by 120 days till March 18 if none of the parties objects. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that “no such objections were received,” while noting that the Russian side allows for a technical prolongation of the “Black Sea initiative” for the export of Ukrainian grain without any changes in the terms and scope.

The grain deal itself is part of a package deal, which includes unblocking Russian exports of food and fertilizers, Moscow noted that this is exactly what has not been implemented. At the same time, there were assurances from the UN that the restrictions would be lifted.

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