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Russia doubts US proclamations on grain deal – Kremlin

Moscow doesn’t believe claims from the US that it has made a genuine effort to facilitate Russian fertilizer and grain exports, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

The Russian official responded on Friday to a question about US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks on the now-defunct Black Sea Initiative.

The top US diplomat said on Thursday that his government had “taken steps to work through” problems that Russia faces with shipping and insurance, arising from Western sanctions. Among other things, Washington wrote “comfort letters to banks” to assure them that they can make Russian transactions without repercussions, Blinken said.

Peskov told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, however, that Moscow was not prepared to accept Blinken’s word on the matter.

Russian officials previously stated that food and fertilizer trade continued to be hampered by the sanctions, despite Western claims to the contrary. An easing of those restrictions, promised by the UN a year ago when the grain deal was signed, remains Moscow’s key demand for reviving the arrangement.

  • Washington “must deliver on that rather than make promises that they would think about it,” Peskov said later on Friday, during a media conference call.
  • Blinken claimed that if the deal were restored, the US would “continue to do whatever is necessary to make sure that everyone can export their food and food products freely and safely, to include Russia”.

Peskov suggested that there should be no need for safety guarantees by the US, as these were part of the deal without US intervention. The UN and Türkiye served as key intermediaries between Russia and Ukraine in the arrangement.

Source: RT