Factbox-What about grain exports from Ukraine and Russia?

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The extension of a deal allowing safe export of Ukrainian grain and fertilizers beyond the Black Sea beyond June 18

Here are details of the agreements brokered by the United Nations and Turkey and signed in Istanbul last July, along with Russia’s demands and United Nations efforts to placate Moscow.


The deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, has so far allowed Ukraine to safely export more than 27 million tons of grain from several of its Black Sea ports. Under the deal:

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– Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations set up a joint coordination center in Istanbul, staffed by officials from both parties.

– Ukraine can safely export grain and related foodstuffs and fertilizers, including ammonia, from the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny.

– All activities in Ukrainian territorial waters are subject to the authority and responsibility of Ukraine.

– The parties agreed not to carry out attacks on merchant ships and other civilian ships and port facilities covered by the agreement.

– In order to prevent provocations and incidents, the movement of ships passing through the maritime humanitarian corridor will be monitored remotely. No military vessel, aircraft or drone may approach within 10 nautical miles of the corridor without JCC approval.

– All merchant ships are inspected by a JCC team in Turkish ports when entering and leaving Ukraine.

– The agreement has been agreed for 120 days and will be automatically renewed for the same period unless one of the parties notifies the other of its intention to terminate or modify the initiative.

– The deal was extended by 120 days in November and then at least 60 days in March.


In a bid to persuade Russia to allow Ukraine to resume its grain exports from the Black Sea last year, a separate three-year deal was struck last July in which the United Nations agreed to help Russia with its food and fertilizer exports .

Under the letter of intent:

– Russia agreed to continue commercial shipments of food and fertilizers and to inform the UN of any obstacles to such exports, including fertilizer raw materials such as ammonia. Russia agreed to facilitate the unhindered export of food, sunflower oil and fertilizers from Ukrainian-controlled Black Sea ports.

– The United Nations agreed to continue efforts to facilitate transparent, unhindered global access to Russian food and fertilizers, including fertilizer raw materials such as ammonia. This includes dealing with financial, insurance or logistical impediments and ensuring that such exports are effectively exempt from unilateral action.

– Russia and the UN will notify each other in writing three months in advance if they intend to stop the deal.

In a March 16 letter to UN officials, Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzia said Moscow would only consider extending the Black Sea grain export deal with Ukraine beyond May 18 if the following “systemic problems” would be solved:

– Return of the Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) to the SWIFT payment system.

– a resumption of deliveries of agricultural machinery and spare parts to Russia.

– Removal of insurance restrictions and access to ports for Russian ships and cargo.

– the restart of an ammonia pipeline from Togliatti in Russa to Odessa in Ukraine.

– Unblock accounts and financial activities of Russian fertilizer companies.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said last week that UN officials “are trying hard to push the process forward,” but noted that Antonio Guterres has little power.

“The Secretary General has no authority over SWIFT. He has no authority over member states imposing unilateral sanctions. He has no authority over insurance companies, shipping companies. He can’t tell them what to do,” he said.

“We’re trying to herd a whole group of people,” added Dujarric.

The United States has rejected Moscow’s demands, saying that “the only bans on food and fertilizer exports from Russia are those imposed by the Russian government.”

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

Brian Ashcraft

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