Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin on Monday called on the international community to honor its word of lifting curbs on Russian agricultural and fertilizer exports as part of the Ukraine grain deal.
He stressed that the landmark agreement, signed by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine in July and extended last month, “consists of two parts.”
“The first is a four-sided agreement on the export of grain from Ukraine through the humanitarian sea corridor. This part is being implemented quite well,” Vershinin told reporters after a meeting with Turkish officials in Istanbul.
However, he emphasized, there is need for progress on the second part of the agreement, which relates to “providing access to agricultural products and fertilizers from Russia.”
“For now, we have not achieved any significant results in this regard,” he said.
Vershinin also pointed out that the US and EU have failed to fulfill their promises of excluding Russian food products from sanctions.
“There has been no progress on this issue for a long time. There is still a large gap between statements and real deeds. Our partners must overcome this gap,” he said.
He also reiterated Moscow’s concerns that grain leaving Ukraine under the agreement is going to “sufficiently developed, wealthy countries” and not poorer nations that need it most.
“This agreement was made to ensure food security of the poorest countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Unfortunately, the figures do not confirm that most of the grain has been going to these countries. At this point, we think adjustments need to be made,” Vershinin added.
To a question, he said there were no discussions on a proposal to send Russian wheat to Türkiye, where it could be processed into flour and sent to other countries.
“This scenario was not discussed. If something can be done to improve the situation in the countries in need, of course, we will take such initiatives,” he said.
“We can do this with Türkiye as well since Türkiye plays a quite significant role in the implementation of the grain deal. We can be quite optimistic at this point,” he added.