Russia still says not happy with Black Sea grains deal after UN talks

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is still not happy with the way a Black Sea grain deal is being implemented, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on Saturday after meeting with senior government officials. UN trade the day before, TASS news agency reported.

Russia has threatened to pull out of the grain deal on July 17 if demands for improvements in its own food and fertilizer exports are not met. The agreement, reached in July last year, facilitates the “safe navigation” of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers – including ammonia – for export to world markets.

“We cannot be satisfied with the way this memorandum is being implemented,” Vershinin said. “The barriers to our exports remain.”

While Russian food and fertilizer exports are not subject to Western sanctions, Moscow says restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance have been a hindrance to shipments.

Russia’s ambassador to Turkey said on Friday that despite ongoing consultations with the United Nations over the grain deal, there was no reason to extend it, the RIA news agency reported.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Helen Popper)

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