Russia: Poorest Countries Receive Mere 2.6% of Produce Going via Grain Corridor

More than 40% of farm produce being exported under the grain deal is sent to developed countries, while the poorest ones receive a miniscule 2.6%, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told the Russian media on Thursday following talks in Istanbul on the grain deal concluded by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations.

“More than 40% of farm produce goes through the grain corridor to high-and middle-income countries, which fails to meet the proclaimed noble goals of fighting famine and ensuring food security. In the meantime, a measly 2.6% reaches the poorest and most needy countries,” he said.

Vershinin recalled that Russia “helps the poorest countries on its own through the World Food Program, too, because the 2.6% that goes to these countries is very little.”

“We would like to eliminate such distortions,” Vershinin pointed out.

On May 10-11 representatives from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN met in Istanbul to discuss the extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement on the export of grain and fertilizers. The agenda also included the security of the grain corridor.

On July 22, 2022, a package of documents on the supply of food and fertilizers to the international market was signed in Istanbul. The agreements were originally signed for a period of 120 days. They were extended for the same period last November. On March 18, 2023, Russia announced the extension of the deal for 60 days. It has repeatedly stated that any further decision to extend the deal would depend on the fulfillment of the Russian part of the agreement. The lack of progress on this issue endangers the future of this initiative as such.

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