Russia said on Friday it saw no reason to extend the Black Sea Grain Deal beyond July 17 because the West had acted in such an "outrageous" way over the agreement, but assured poor countries that Russian grain exports would continue.
"The attitude of the West towards this deal is outrageous," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters, pointing specifically to the United States and Britain.
Lavrov said one of the last straws for Russia was an attack on the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline, an attack he blamed on Ukraine which has in turn accused Russia of damaging it.
"I don't see what arguments there can be by those who would like to continue the Black Sea initiative," Lavrov said.
Lavrov said Russia would provide grain to the world's poorest countries at Moscow's own expense if the grain deal ceases to operate.
"If the Black Sea Initiative ceases to operate, we will provide grain deliveries of a comparable or larger size to the poorest countries at our own expense, free of charge," Lavrov said.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative was launched last July by the United Nations and Turkey to deal with the worsening global food crisis following the war between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world's largest agricultural producers.
The agreement, which allows food and fertilizer to be exported through three Ukrainian ports, has been extended three times, most recently on July 17.
Between 2018-2020, Africa imported $3.7 billion in wheat (32% of total African wheat imports) from Russia and another $1.4 billion from Ukraine (12% of total African wheat imports), according to the United Nations.
Source: Al Arabiya