Talks take place on expanding Ukraine grain deal amidst fears of Russian withdrawal

Tue 18 Oct 2022
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Ukraine grain deal faces extension and expansion

Talks have taken place to extend and expand the UN-brokered deal that safeguards the export of Ukrainian grain to the wider world.

The agreement is due to run out next month but there are concerns that Russia could refuse to renew it.

As previously covered in the IOE&IT Daily Update, Moscow is threatening to pull the plug on the deal unless its own exports are facilitated.

Expansion

Representatives from the UN, Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye met to discuss the future of the corridor which has allowed six million tons of food to be exported since July, reports Lloyd’s List.

Moscow is seeking to include their ammonia exports as part of the agreement, whilst Kyiv wants to add an extra port and include next year’s harvest.

Amir Mahmoud Abdulla, the UN coordinator for the initiative, told Politico he was “optimistic” that the deal will be renewed.

Discussions ongoing

UN trade official Rebeca Grynspan and UN aid chief Martin Griffiths met on Sunday and Monday with Russian ministers to discuss facilitating exports of Russian grain and fertiliser.

“Discussions will continue. Fertilisers and raw materials required to produce fertilisers - that includes ammonia - originating from the Russian Federation are key to worldwide agricultural production,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Reuters.

Agreement on Russian and Ukrainian exports is needed to tackle a global food crisis brought on by a war that has pushed 47 million people into “acute hunger”, the UN said.

Ukrainian exports revived

According to World Grain, figures from the Ukrainian agricultural ministry show grain exports are almost back to levels last seen before Russia launched its invasion in February.

Shipments in the first 17 days of October were just 2.4% lower than in the same period of 2021.

Sanctions resolve

Despite the deal, the US and UK have agreed to take their collaboration against Russia to a “new level” including the implementation and enforcement of financial, reports the FT.

“We will identify opportunities to pool expertise, to think creatively about the challenges we face, to explore opportunities to align the way we implement sanctions,” wrote Andrea Gacki, director of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and Giles Thomson, director of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation at the UK Treasury.