Kremlin wants to relax Russian fertilizer boycott

The Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament believes that the Black Sea agreement for the export of Ukrainian grain should be extended for four months, and not for two, as Russia now wants.

The current 120-day agreement between Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations and Turkey expires at the end of this week, and it was agreed at the end of last year that those agreements could be extended.

Chairman Norbert Lins and the delegation leaders in the agriculture committee believe that the agreements should be extended by more than 60 days 'to secure the global food supply'. Russia's war against Ukraine led to a blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports early last year and significant price increases for grains and fertilizers. 

With the mediation of the UN and Turkey, a grain agreement was concluded in the summer of 2022, which, among other things, provided for the release of Ukrainian ports for grain export. The initiative, originally agreed for 120 days, was extended for a further 120 days in the autumn.

According to the UN, some 24 million tons of grain in more than 1,600 shiploads have been shipped through Black Sea ports since the implementation of the grain agreement.

According to several international news agencies, busy diplomatic talks are taking place behind the scenes, including UN chief Antonio Gúterres urging Moscow to keep Ukraine's grain exports by sea afloat.

The Kremlin believes that international sanctions against the country should be relaxed, especially those that hinder the export of Russian fertilizer raw materials.

Food and fertilizer are not formally covered by the boycott rules and export restrictions, but the tightened rules for international payments prevent or hinder orders from Russian companies. Moscow believes that the UN should do something about it.