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Moscow ties inclusion of its agriculture bank in SWIFT system to grain deal extension

Moscow ties inclusion of its agriculture bank in SWIFT system to grain deal extension
Kyiv, West began demanding continuation of maritime traffic, expansion of Ukrainian exports since extension of grain deal, claims Russian Foreign Ministry

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) – Moscow on Thursday linked the inclusion of its state-owned Russian Agricultural Bank in the SWIFT international payment system to the continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, indicating that it will consider alternative options for agricultural exports otherwise.

“For our part, we note that, since ammonia does not go through the Yuzhny port, there are other ports that are still working with our assistance to export Ukrainian grain. If Rosselkhozbank is not connected to SWIFT and there is no progress in meeting other ‘systemic’ problems blocking our agricultural exports, then the ‘Black Sea Initiative’ will also have to look for alternatives,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Telegram.

The ministry recalled that Russia agreed to extend the grain deal for another two months, stating that Ukraine and the West began to demand the continuation of maritime traffic and the increase and expansion of Ukrainian exports "almost immediately."

“They habitually resorted, with the support of the UN, to hackneyed theses about food security, the fight against hunger, and assistance to countries in need,” the statement said, adding that the same political figures from the West “continue to impose sanctions, including against Russian agricultural exports.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently announced that the deal, which was set to expire on May 18, was extended for two months.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine initially signed the agreement in Istanbul last July to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were halted after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022.

The deal has been extended three times since it was first signed initially for 120 days. It was first extended in November 2022 and then in March.


source: News Feed
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