United Nations - United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday he regretted Russia's decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
"I deeply regret the decision by the Russian Federation to terminate the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative, including the withdrawal of Russian security guarantees for navigation in the north-western part of the Black Sea," Guterres said.
Guterres pledged to continue facilitating food and fertiliser exports from Ukraine and Russia.
Earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow had suspended its participation in the Black Sea grain export deal just as it was set to expire.
"Unfortunately, the part of these Black Sea agreements that concerns Russia has not been implemented so far, so its effect is terminated," local media reported citing Peskov. Russia had been complaining that its demands to improve its own grain and fertilizer exports have not been met.
Peskov noted that the country will immediately return to the deal when the Russian part of the agreement is fulfilled.
In July 2022, Russia and Ukraine signed separately with Türkiye and the UN the Black Sea Grain Initiative, allowing Ukraine to export grain and other agricultural products from its Black Sea ports.
The initiative, which was initially valid for 120 days, was extended in mid-November 2022 for another 120 days until March 18, 2023.
Russia then agreed to extend the deal for only 60 days. On May 17, Russia agreed to extend the deal for another 60 days.