The Black Sea Grain Initiative between Russia and Ukraine expires today. The UN-backed deal will lapse after Moscow and Kyiv
The Black Sea Grain Initiative between Russia and Ukraine expires today.
The UN-backed deal will lapse after Moscow and Kyiv failed to agree on the length of an extension. While Ukraine has sought to extend the agreement by another 120 days, , Russia insists on a shorter extension of only 60 days.
Recognizing the Initiative’s importance at a time of heightened global food insecurity, Russia may seek to use ongoing talks as an opportunity to loosen international sanctions against it. Specifically, Russian officials have tied the deal to an easing of Western sanctions on fertilizer exports. Similarly, Russia has tied any 120-day extension to implementation of an agreement struck alongside the original grain deal which would allow Russian food exports through the Black Sea.
Russia will likely end up accepting a longer extension out of necessity. As Western purchases of Russian exports have dried up due to sanctions, Russia has become increasingly reliant on new markets in Africa and Asia to sustain its economy. Because these new partner countries are disproportionately impacted by global food insecurity, Moscow will likely conclude that it cannot afford to damage relations with their only remaining economic partners by obstructing the grain deal.