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Moscow Threatens Withdrawal From Black Sea Grain Deal if G7 Proceeds with Export Ban

Bloomberg News reported yesterday that, “Moscow may retaliate if Group of Seven countries proceed with a total ban on most exports to Russia by withdrawing from the safe-transit deal that allows Ukraine to ship grains from Black Sea ports, said Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council.

“Russia would also consider banning exports of some of its own goods, Medvedev said in a Telegram post.

G-7 officials are considering moving closer to an outright ban on most exports to Russia and are discussing the idea ahead of a leaders summit in Japan in May, according to people familiar with the matter. The proposal is still being debated and could change, the people said last week.”

“Russia’s Medvedev Says G-7 Export Ban to Trigger Grain Deal Exit.” Bloomberg News. (April 23, 2023).

The Bloomberg article explained that, “The safe-transit agreement, brokered by the UN and Turkey, has allowed Ukraine to export millions of tons of grain since last summer. Russia, which is currently the world’s largest wheat exporter, has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the deal, which is next up for renewal in mid-May, if issues regarding its own grain and fertilizer shipments aren’t resolved.

“A shipment of Russian fertilizer held in Latvia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine 14 months ago has sailed for Kenya, Latvian authorities said on Saturday, in what was seen as a possible boost for efforts to extend the Black Sea deal.”

Also yesterday, Reuters News reported that, “Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday that if the G7 moved to ban exports to Russia, Moscow would respond by terminating the Black Sea Grain deal that enables vital exports of grain from Ukraine.

“The Group of Seven (G7) countries are considering a near-total ban on exports to Russia, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported last week, citing Japanese government sources. Russia has repeatedly threatened to scrap its participation in the grain deal, which is due to expire on May 18.”

The Reuters article pointed out that, “The G7 called on Sunday for the ‘extension, full implementation and expansion’ of the deal to export Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, the group’s agriculture ministers said in a communique.”

USATODAY (Page 2A – April 24, 2023).

And John Bacon reported in today’s USATODAY that, “Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the G-7 nations’ sanctions have focused more on halting import of Russian goods and less on exporting goods to Russia. The import sanctions have forced Russia to sell oil, natural gas and other goods at a discount to India, China and other nations willing to ignore the sanctions. The new plan would add to the list of goods that would no longer be sold to Russia.”

Elsewhere, Reuters writer Olga Popova reported today that, “Russia could export a record amount of grain this season – around 60 million tonnes, including 50 million tonnes of wheat – the head of the Russian Grain Union, Arkady Zlochevsky, said on Monday.”

Also today, Reuters writer Naveen Thukral reported that, “Chicago wheat climbed for the first time in four sessions on Monday after Russia threatened to terminate a grain deal allowing Ukrainian exports, although gains were trimmed by forecasts of much-needed rains in the U.S. winter crop areas.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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