FILE – A harvester collects wheat in the village of Zghurivka, Ukraine, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022ANKARA (Sputnik) – There is no progress in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between Russia and the United Nations on promoting Russian food products and fertilizers to the world markets, Russian Ambassador in Turkey Aleksei Erkhov said on Friday. “As of today, 17 million tons of Ukrainian grain have been exported. However, we still observe distortions in the geographic distribution of recipients of Ukrainian food products. The situation with our products does not inspire optimism either. There is no progress in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between Russia and the UN on normalization of Russia’s agricultural export,” Erkhov said, as quoted by the Yeni Safak newspaper. The ambassador also said that Russian producers of agricultural products and suppliers are still facing the blocking of payments via banks, high insurance rates, and limited access to sea ports. Sputnik ExplainsRussia’s Grain Fleet: Why is West So Unnerved About Moscow Growing Independent?27 December 2022, 17:51 GMTThe diplomat went on to say that Latvia, Estonia and Belgium were continuing to hold Russian agricultural products in ports, while Kiev had been blocking the export of ammonia supplies.
"There are delays even in the free delivery of Russian fertilizers to low-income countries. A small part of the cargo has departed from the Netherlands to Malawi. Latvia, Estonia and Belgium are continuing to hold our products in ports. The delivery of ammonia raw materials for the production of fertilizers from the Yuzhnoe port has not started, and the resumption of ammonia supplies is being blocked by Kiev only," Erkhov added, as quoted by the newspaper.
The ambassador noted that the amount of detained products, estimated at 2.5 tons of raw materials per year, would be enough to produce 7 million tons of fertilizer and to provide 200 million people with food. On July 22, the deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations was signed by Ukraine and Russia to unblock shipments of grain, food and fertilizer in the Black Sea despite hostilities. The agreement was initially set to expire on November 19, with a possibility of extension if signatories consent. It was extended for 120 days on November 17. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that most vessels carrying Ukrainian grain do not reach the world’s poorest countries and have ended up in Europe. Putin has also voiced concerns that Russian grain and fertilizer products are not entering the global markets as stipulated by the agreement.