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Grain initiative talks continue considering proposal of UN Secretary General Dpty Minister of Restoration

20.05.2023 11:49 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Negotiations, which resulted in the unblocking of the grain deal and its work until July 18, have not yet been completed and continue taking into account the proposal of UN Secretary General António Guterres to consider the possibility of improving and expanding the grain initiative on mutually beneficial terms for all parties, Yuriy Vaskov, Deputy Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, has said.

«When there is a position of all parties on the acceptability of such a proposal, then this issue will be discussed, but only through the prism of Ukraine’s interests. But now everything that is signed and concluded within the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, we, for our part, are fulfilling in full,» he said in a blitz interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

Vaskov noted that Ukrainian farmers need a predictable long-term period of its validity.

«Therefore, of course, we will proceed with the proposal to extend the term. But the primary task now is the effective operation of the deal already signed, and then we will offer things that meet the requirements of world trade,» the deputy Minister of Restoration emphasized.

He clarified that Ukraine still adheres to the position that in the signed text of the agreement, the term of the agreement and its extensions is 120 days, unless another period is agreed.

«No other deadline was agreed in writing. In March, a deadline of 120 days was agreed and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN called the same deadline. The Russian Federation then announced an extension of 60 days, but these were just words that were not fixed in any way by all participants. Therefore, it is correct to interpret, that it was a statement by the Russian Federation that it would withdraw from the agreement in 60 days, and yesterday it stated that it would remain in the agreement,» Vaskov explained.

He also noted that the grain agreement was extended without taking into account the requirements of Russia. Speaking about them, the Deputy Minister pointed out that such requirements as the work of the Russian Agricultural Bank, the lifting of EU sanctions for insuring ships with agricultural products and a ban on their entry into European ports, exemption from sanctions on spare parts for agricultural machinery manufactured by the EU and the USA and the removal of arrests from the assets of Russian agricultural producers — do not relate to Ukraine.

«And the resumption of the operation of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline. This is a question of the Ukrainian ammonia pipeline, but in the text of the grain initiative we have nothing about the ammonia pipeline. There is about the export of ammonia available in the ports — yes, but not a single ship came for it. As for transit, there is not a word about the ammonia pipeline in the initiative,» Vaskov added.

Answering a question about the possibility of expanding the initiative from agricultural cargo to others, the Deputy Minister of Restoration stressed that this is entirely in the interests of Ukraine.

«This is the right of Ukraine and the right of foreign shipowners — free commercial navigation. Of course, we, as Ukraine, are interested and will do everything to ensure that this right is realized. At present, I can’t say anything more, except that we are certainly interested and will do it as soon as possible,» he said.

Source: «-»

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