The Black Sea agreement expires on Monday and Moscow says its demands have still not been met
Not a single vessel carrying Russian fertilizer has been dispatched since the adoption of the Black Sea grain deal last year, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday, citing the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) for the initiative.
Enabling fertilizer exports from the sanctioned country was one of the conditions for the UN-brokered agreement that allowed for the safe passage of ships carrying Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea. The deal was extended several times and is due to expire on Monday.
“The agreement of July 22, 2022 allows the export of [Russian] fertilizers, including ammonia, however not a single ship with fertilizers has been dispatched within the framework of the initiative,” the JCC said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
The Coordination Center also reportedly noted that fertilizer exports depend on the condition of a key ammonia pipeline on Ukrainian territory. A section of the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline was sabotaged last month, and according to the report, “at the moment its status is unknown.”
The conduit has been inactive since the start of the Ukraine conflict last year, and Moscow has repeatedly demanded that Kiev unblock the pipeline as a condition for renewing the grain deal. The route has big significance for agriculture, as ammonia is crucial to fertilizer production.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that the grain deal has failed to remove the barriers to the export of Russian grain and fertilizer. Talking to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Putin added that the pact has also failed to deliver on its goal of supplying grain to the poorest nations.
Earlier this week, the Russian leader said that Moscow may suspend its participation in the grain deal until Western sanctions on its agricultural exports are lifted.
The Joint Coordination Center on the Black Sea Grain Initiative was founded in July 2022 in Istanbul. JCC comprises representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Türkiye, and the United Nations.
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