World, Russia-Ukraine War

Putin says West distorted Black Sea grain deal

Western countries completely removed everything valuable from deal, 'perverted' its original humanitarian essence, says Russian president

Burç Eruygur  | 20.07.2023 - Update : 20.07.2023
Putin says West distorted Black Sea grain deal Russian President Vladimir Putin


Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the West distorted the “meaning” and “essence” of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, after Moscow announced it was suspending its participation in the deal. 

The West “shamelessly profited from the grain deal. It simply completely distorted the meaning of these agreements and the essence," Putin said during a meeting with the government.

He said the deal was initially aimed at ensuring global food security and had “colossal humanitarian significance” by reducing the threat of hunger and helping the poorest countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“That is why Russia has assumed certain obligations to facilitate its implementation. However, this ‘deal’…was in fact used to enrich large American and European businesses exporting and reselling grain from Ukraine," he said.

Putin further said that Western countries completely removed everything valuable from the grain deal and "perverted" its original humanitarian essence, making it a tool of “political blackmail” and “enriching transnational corporations, speculators in the global grain market.”

He said Russia showed “miracles of endurance, patience and tolerance” by extending the grain deal and that Moscow expected the West to comply with its conditions, though “nothing like this happened.”

The West “only demanded something from Russia," he said.

"To do one thing, then another. To ensure one thing, the second, the third. Just outright arrogance and impudence. Promises and empty chatter. And they only compromised themselves by this."

He also accused the West of creating obstacles for Russia's free transfer of fertilizers to the poorest countries.

Putin said the basic condition for Russia’s return to the grain deal is the “restoration of its original humanitarian essence," further recalling conditions under the agreement that he said must be fulfilled “without exception,” after which Moscow will “immediately return to this deal."

On Monday, the Kremlin announced that it had suspended its participation in the Black Sea grain deal, saying the Russian part of the agreement was not implemented.

The agreement, initially signed in July last year in Istanbul by Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine, was aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports which had been halted as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, which began in February 2022.

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