Russian President Vladimir Putin told South African President Cyril Ramaphosa the main goal of a crucial deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain has not been realized.
The Black Sea grain deal expires on Monday unless Russia extends it.
During a call with Ramaphosa, Putin stressed the importance of Russia's side of the deal being upheld, including the removal of tariffs on Russian food exports, according to the Kremlin.
“(Putin) stressed that the obligations set out in the relevant Russia-UN memorandum to remove obstacles to the export of Russian food and fertilizers still remain unfulfilled,” the Kremlin readout of the call said.
“Moreover, the main goal of the deal, namely the supply of grain to countries in need, including those on the African continent, has not been realized,” it said.
What is the Black Sea grain deal?: The Black Sea grain deal was first reached in July 2022.
The deal – brokered by the United Nations and Turkey with Russia and Ukraine – created procedures to ensure the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports after Russia launched its full-scale invasion and blockaded ports there.
As part of the deal, grain ships were able to navigate through a safe corridor in the Black Sea under the direction of Ukrainian pilots, and then pass through the Bosphorus Strait – an important shipping corridor in northwest Turkey – in order to reach global markets.
The agreement has proven vital for stabilizing global food prices and bringing relief to the developing countries that rely on Ukrainian exports.
The deal’s survival continues to rest in Russia’s hands. Prior to its third renewal in May, the Kremlin had remained elusive as to whether it would remain in the pact until agreeing to an extension.