(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Russian President Vladimir Putin shot down the renewal of a major grain deal on Monday, September 4 that would allow Ukraine to safely export grain using the Black Sea unless the West meets Moscow’s demands regarding its own agricultural exports.
Ukraine and many other Western countries have since dismissed Putin’s demands as merely a way to advance his own interests. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made it challenging for Ukrainian exports, especially due to the Black Sea being largely dominated by Russian naval forces.
The deal, if agreed to by Putin, would have allowed Ukrainian ships to properly export grain using the Black Sea without fear of attack or seizing by Russian naval forces.
Putin had refused to renew the deal in July, claiming that an adjacent deal concerning Russian food and fertilizer exports hadn’t been honored. The Russian government has complained that current restrictions on agricultural trade made it too hard to properly export goods.
He seems to have quashed all hope of renewing the deal after making clear to reporters that he had no intention of renewing the deal unless the West meets his demands in a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Putin was also discussing a deal pertaining to exports in the Middle East, Africa and Asia with Erdogan.
During the meeting, Putin told reporters that the deal could be restored “within days” provided Western countries comply with his demands. This, however, seems unlikely. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, for instance, said that Putin’s attitude toward the grain agreement was “cynical,” and that his invasion of Ukraine is the only reason freighters cannot travel freely.
The agreement, or lack of agreement, could prove pivotal for global food supplies, as both Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers in wheat, sunflower oil, barley and many other grains that plenty of nations rely on. The collapse of the deal could have a dire impact on countries like Egypt or Somalia, which rely heavily on imported grain from the Black Sea.
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