Washington, May 24 – The Kingdom of Lesotho considers it important for Russia to export grain and fertilizers to African countries as part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Tumisang Musoto, the African country’s ambassador to the United States, told the News Agency.
Mosotho also answered in the affirmative to the question of whether Lesotho would welcome a possible further extension of the grain deal.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the grain agreement was extended until July 17 inclusive, without any changes, and if all problematic issues regarding the deal are not resolved within two months, the agreement will be terminated after July 17.
The head of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Dmitry Patrushev said the day before that the restrictions on the export of Russian grain within the framework of the grain deal had not yet been settled. During the talks, Russian officials confirmed that the terms of the RF-UN memorandum, which is the second part of the grain deal, have not yet been met. Commenting on the upcoming extension of the deal, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that “distortions” in the implementation of the grain deal should be corrected as soon as possible.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed on July 22, 2022 by representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations, involves the export of Ukrainian grain, food and fertilizers across the Black Sea from three ports, including Odessa. Ship movement is coordinated by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul. Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated in September that the West exports most of the Ukrainian grain to its own countries, not to needy countries in Africa.
The Grain Initiative is an integral part of the package agreement. The second part – the Russia-UN memorandum, designed for a period of three years – provides for the lifting of the ban on Russian exports of food and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agrarian Bank with SWIFT, the resumption of the supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and services, the restoration of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline and a number from other procedures. As noted in Moscow, this part of the agreement package has not yet been implemented.
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