Russia and Ukraine are negotiating again on extending the grain deal, which expires tomorrow. The talks are progressing slowly because Russia has made a series of demands. Here are the pain points:
• The Agricultural Bank Rosselkhozbank should be allowed to return to the Swift international financial communication system. As part of the sanctions, Russia has been cut off from Swift since last year.
• The supply of agricultural equipment and spare parts must be resumed.
• Penalties for insurance and access to foreign ports for Russian ships and cargo should disappear.
• The ammonia pipeline between the Ukrainian port of Odessa and the Russian city of Togliatti must be restarted.
• The bank accounts and financial activities of Russian fertilizer companies should be unblocked.
The grain deal has transported more than thirty million tons of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports since last summer. Ukrainian grain is of great importance to the international food supply. The agreement includes the following terms and conditions:
• Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations set up a coordination center with representatives from all interested parties. This center inspects grain ships sailing to and from Ukraine near Istanbul.
• Ukraine is allowed to export grain from three ports.
• Russia and Ukraine pledged not to attack civilian ships and ports.
• The agreement is valid for 120 days and then automatically extended, unless either party says they wish to terminate or modify the deal.
“Avid pop culture junkie. Alcohol nerd. Award-winning problem solver. Wannabe writer. Baconaholic. Typical creator.”