Black Sea grain deal has ‘de facto ended’ – Kremlin

The Kremlin announced on Monday that Black Sea grain deal, hours before it was due to expire, had “de facto ended” and Moscow would only return to the deal if its demands were met.

The vital agreement, facilitated by the United Nations and Turkey, is set to expire officially by the end of Monday.

The agreement enables Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea region.

For several months, Moscow has issued threats to withdraw from the agreement, contending that its own obligations under the deal were not adequately fulfilled.

“The Black Sea agreements have de facto ended today,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“The grain deal has ceased. As soon as the Russian part (of the agreements) are fulfilled, the Russian side will immediately return to the grain deal.”

Following the announcement from the Kremlin, Russian news agencies reported that Moscow officially informed Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Nations of its opposition to extending the deal.

The Kremlin’s decision to withdraw from the deal came shortly after a Ukrainian assault on Russia’s bridge to annexed Crimea, resulting in the loss of two civilian lives.

DKremlin spokesperson Peskov stated that Moscow’s decision to let the deal expire was not directly connected to the attack.

He added that President Vladimir Putin had already expressed dissatisfaction with the agreements on multiple occasions.

Putin has consistently issued warnings about withdrawing from the agreement, citing the lack of fulfillment of certain provisions in regards to the export of Russian food and fertilizers.

Putin also said that the primary objective of the deal, which was the provision of grain to poor nations, had not been accomplished.

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