Russia said Sunday that the country's agricultural exports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative continue to be blocked by Western sanctions as the grain deal is set to expire on March 18.
"We are well aware of the statements by various sides, including the Kyiv regime, on the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, whose second term (120 days) expires on March 18. There were no talks conducted in this regard, especially with the participation of the Russian representatives," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a written response to a question on the grain deal negotiations.
In her response, Zakharova said their position regarding the package proposal of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which comprises a memorandum between Russia and the UN to normalize national agricultural exports and the grain deal, is "well-known and remains intact."
She further noted that Moscow's approach proceeds from the need for the agreements that entered into force following talks between Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine and the UN to be fulfilled to overcome the food crisis and help countries in need in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
"We have to state that so far, only the Ukrainian part has been effectively implemented. Russian agricultural exports continue to be blocked by Western unilateral sanctions," she said.
She added that another round of consultations between a Russian delegation and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 13 March.
Last July, Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022.