The UN Prepared Proposals for Russia to Revive the Grain Deal
The United Nations, with Turkey's participation, has prepared new proposals for reviving the "grain agreement," which include connecting a subsidiary of Russia's Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT and unlocking the frozen assets of Russian companies that produce fertilizers in Europe, according to reports from the Turkish news agency Anadolu.
During a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow, Turkey's Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, announced that the UN has developed a new package of proposals with Turkey's involvement, and they believe this could serve as a suitable basis for reviving the initiative.
The key elements of the package reportedly include integrating the European subsidiary of the Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) into the SWIFT system and unfreezing the assets of Russian companies involved in fertilizer production in Europe.
"While Turkey, in coordination with the UN, continues efforts to revive the Black Sea grain initiative, other alternatives to this agreement pose security and cost-related issues," the publication notes.
It is worth mentioning that among Russia's demands for the revival of the "grain agreement" are the reconnection of Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT system, resumption of agricultural equipment and spare parts shipments to Russia, lifting restrictions on vessel insurance, and granting access to ports.
In July 2022, the United Nations, Ukraine, and Turkey reached an agreement to export Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea to help address the global food crisis triggered by Russia's war on Ukraine.
The Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul, responsible for implementing the grain agreement, includes representatives from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN.
Since the start of the grain agreement in August 2022, nearly 33 million tons of Ukrainian grain and other food products have been exported through the Black Sea.
In July 2023, the spokesperson for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, announced Russia's unilateral withdrawal from the grain agreement between Russia, Turkey, and the UN. Following the agreement's termination, the Russian Federation initiated systematic airstrikes on port infrastructure to halt Ukrainian agricultural exports. Moreover, upon exiting the agreement, which guaranteed safe passage for exports through the Black Sea, Russia stated that any vessel heading to Ukrainian ports could be considered a military target.
As previously reported by The Gaze, a Russian warship fired warning shots at a Turkish cargo ship, Sukru Okan, in the Black Sea. The gunfire came from an automatic cannon on the Russian ship. An inspection team was sent to the Turkish vessel by a military helicopter. Russia justified the use of force by claiming that the ship did not respond to warnings to stop.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemned Russia's "provocative" military actions on August 13 in the Black Sea against the Turkish cargo ship Sukru Okan. Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to take decisive countermeasures.
The U.S. State Department also strongly responded to Russia's military provocation against the Turkish civilian ship, describing the incident as an "unacceptable escalation."