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Moscow accuses West of breaking ‘grain deal’ pledge

Western countries have not fulfilled their promise to lift sanctions on Russian grain and fertilizers to allow them to reach world markets, the country’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said on Tuesday.

The commitment was part of a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey and signed in Istanbul in July to unblock Ukraine’s grain exports and ease a looming global food crisis. 

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Lavrov stressed that “artificially inflated” Western claims that Russian actions in Ukraine had undermined the stability of the global food market are “absolutely not the case.” 

READ MORE: ‘No problems’ with Ukrainian grain shipments – Turkey

“On the contrary, our Western colleagues are not doing what we were promised by the UN secretary general, namely, they are not making a decision to remove logistical sanctions that prevent free access of Russian grain and fertilizers to world markets,” the minister pointed out at a joint press conference with his Thai counterpart, Don Pramudwinai. 

Lavrov added that Russia continues to work with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his team to ensure the organization fulfills its obligations under the Istanbul agreements. 

Wheat deliveries from Ukraine, a major producer, were disrupted after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in late February. The two sides traded accusations over who was responsible for the stoppage of cargo traffic out of Ukrainian ports. Since August 1, however, when shipments from the ports resumed, 92 vessels have departed, bringing more than 2 million tons of food goods to global markets.

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