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Russia threatens to end grain deal unless Rosselkhozbank is reconnected to SWIFT

vessel ukraine grain initiative depart odesa port
A vessel with Ukrainian grain departs the Port of Odesa. Illustrative image via X/Twitter
Russia threatens to end grain deal unless Rosselkhozbank is reconnected to SWIFT
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s proposal of Russia Rosselkhozbank’s reconnection to the SWIFT international payment system came in response to Russia’s threat to terminate the grain deal.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offered Putin to extend the grain deal in exchange for connecting “Rosselkhozbank” to the SWIFT international payment system, which the European Union cut off in June 2022 due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports.

The UN- and Türkiye-brokered “grain deal” was signed last year to export Ukrainian grain in order help mitigate the global food crisis amid Russia’s sea blockade of Ukrainian waters.

According to Reuters, Russia has once again threatened to terminate the deal, which expires on 17 July. Russia claims that “several requirements for shipping its grain and fertilizers abroad have not been met.”

Instead, Moscow demands reconnecting the Russian agricultural bank Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT international payment network. The European Union disconnected it in June 2022 due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“An EU spokesperson said in May that the EU is not considering restoring Russian banks to SWIFT,” the agency wrote.

However, the EU is considering connecting a subsidiary of Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT to allow transactions with grain and fertilizers, three sources familiar with the situation said.

“On Tuesday [11 July], Guterres sent a letter to Putin suggesting ways to further promote Russian food and fertilizer exports and ensure continuous supplies of Ukrainian grain,” UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said to Reuters.

Read also:

Russia blocking Ukraine’s maritime grain exports again – Infrastructure Ministry

UK’s new sanctions target Russia’s theft of Ukrainian grain, advanced mil tech, key revenue sources

 

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