Moscow will scrap grain deal if G7 bans exports

TEHRAN, Apr. 24 (MNA) – A senior Russian official has warned that Moscow would terminate an UN-brokered deal reached to facilitate grain deliveries from Ukraine’s Black Sea if the Group of Seven (G7) countries moved to ban exports to Russia.

The deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, made the remarks in a post on his Telegram channel on Sunday, after the G7 nations said they were considering a near-total ban on exports to Russia.

“This idea from the idiots at the G7 about a total ban of exports to our country by default is beautiful in that it implies a reciprocal ban on imports from our country, including categories of goods that are the most sensitive for the G7," Medvedev said.

"In such a case, the grain deal - and many other things that they need - will end for them," he added.

On Friday, Japan’s Kyodo news agency, citing Japanese sources, reported that the G7 countries are considering banning almost all exports to Russia, in an extension of the sanctions regime against Moscow for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, G7 agriculture ministers have condemned Russia’s attempts to walk away from the grain deal, calling for the full implementation of the agreement.

The G7 ministers made the plea in a statement on Sunday, following a two-day meeting in Miyazaki, Japan, saying they "recognized the importance" of the deal.

“We strongly support the extension, full implementation and expansion" of the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” they said.

"We condemn Russia's attempts to use food as a means of destabilization and as a tool of geopolitical coercion and reiterate our commitment to acting in solidarity and supporting those most affected by Russia's weaponization of food," they added.

Russia has repeatedly threatened to scrap its participation in the grain deal, which is due to expire on May 18, unless its demands are met.

The initial 120-day UN and Turkey-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) was extended once in November and was due to expire on March 18. At the time, the Russian government agreed to extend the deal for a further 60 days following talks with the United Nations officials.

The grain export deal has helped ease the global food crisis sparked by Russia's military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The military campaign saw Ukraine's Black Sea ports blocked by warships until a deal signed in July allowed for the safe passage of exports of critical grain supplies.

More than 24.1 million tonnes have been exported under the UN and Turkey-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, according to the United Nations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York in the coming days to discuss an extension of the deal beyond May 18.


News Code 199814


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