Russia’s deputy foreign minister said in an interview with the daily Izvestia that Russia does not want any disruption to the world’s food security efforts, citing Ukraine’s exports of grain across the Black Sea, according to Reuters. It suggests that the enabling agreement may be extended smoothly.

If there are no objections, the contract will be extended on November 19th. Moscow said its approval was contingent on provisions ensuring that its grain and fertilizers could be exported despite obstacles from Western sanctions.

Ukraine and Russia are the world’s leading grain exporters. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and a major supplier of fertilizers, plant and soil nutrients to global markets.

Read: International Protein Trade Newsletter

“Everything will go on under normal terms” in the Black Sea grain trade, he said, once Western statements about exemptions from sanctions on Russian food exports are put into action.

Asked whether Russia would support Turkey’s recent proposal to remove the deadline from the deal, he said the current 120-day length is “justified”.

Vershinin also said that state-owned financial institution Rosselkhozbank, a key component of Russia’s claims in this area, will provide guarantees to process food and fertilizer transactions only once access to the SWIFT international bank payment system is restored. He said he was prepared to provide, Izvestia said.

Read: International Protein Trade Newsletter

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