President Vladimir Putin claims that Russia has been “screwed over” by the West following the United Nations-backed deal to export Ukrainian grain from previously blockaded ports.
He wants to reopen discussions over the scheme, designed to dampen soaring prices and reduce the threat of global hunger. It is the only deal agreed between Russia and Ukraine in more than six months of war.
“We are honouring the agreements,” Putin told an economic forum in the eastern Russian port city of Vladivostok.
He claimed that the West “have just royally screwed us over, and not just us but the poorest countries whose interests were the pretext for doing all this”, Reuters quoted him as saying.
Ukrainian officials dismissed the comments as “unexpected and groundless”. The UN said on Wednesday that about 30% of the shipments have gone to low or middle-income countries.
Putin spoke about potentially limiting exports to the European Union and said he would discuss the matter with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who helped to orchestrate the original deal.
The UN said 100 vessels carrying 2.3m tonnes of grains and other foodstuffs have left three Ukrainian ports previously blocked by Russia since the deal was signed on 22 July.
More than one-third of the cargo has gone to EU nations, while countries including Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon and Iran have received shipments. The largest single destination is Turkey.
The market appears to have attracted only a few ships from the mainstream bulk carrier trades, with lower-value older, smaller bulkers largely picking up the trade, according to TradeWinds analysis.
London war risk underwriters have said they will back the trade and are quoting on business into the Ukrainian grain ports.