Chinese Expert Claims Russia Can Find Alternative Grain Export Routes if Western Sanctions Stay in Place

Sun Qi, the executive director of the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, declared that Russia can acquire alternative grain supply routes if Western sanctions can stay in place. He was commenting in light of Black Sea grain deal which has slowly been unraveling. 

“Speaking of prospects of the Black Sea grain transportation deal: the current extension period, agreed with the Russian side, was earlier reduced from the initial 120 days to 60 days. If the sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and the West remain unchanged, the Russian side will opt for dodging restrictions related to international payment systems and for finding new routes for exporting its grain,” the expert stated.

Sun Qi stressed that the Black Sea grain transportation deal was designed to allow both Russia and Ukraine to export their agricultural products during the ongoing conflict. Additionally, both sides were supposed to work on stabilizing global food prices, which would help third world countries receive more affordable agricultural products. However, as the deal was being carried out, the Russian side alluded to the fact that it has solely facilitated Ukraine’s agricultural exports, de facto making it a one-sided agreement.

“Two major exporters of agricultural products [Russia and Ukraine] are facing constant difficulties. The news is not very good for the global food market. If main obstacles for food deliveries are not duly removed, there will be a global imbalance in food prices. Countries that are experiencing food shortages will no longer be able to buy, while those with plenty of food will have no chance of selling. It can be predicted with certainty that global food prices will fluctuate in the upcoming period,” the Chinese expert continued.

On July 22, 2022,  several documents on the exchange of food and fertilizers on the international market were signed in Istanbul. At first, the agreements ended after 120 days. In November 2022, this agreement was extended for the same amount of time. On March 18, 2023, Russia revealed a 60-day extension of the deal, noting that this would be enough time to review the implementation of the memorandum signed with the United Nations. On May 18, the grain deal was extended for an additional two months until July 17.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov previously said that the grain deal’s extension was not on the table unless the Russian package of the Istanbul agreements was enforced, noting that the deal was still being enforced only with respect to the Ukrainian grain supply.  

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that the extension of the grain deal was out of the question unless the Russian package of the Istanbul agreements was enforced, adding that the deal was still being implemented only regarding the supply of Ukrainian grain.

Undoubtedly, Russia will be broadening its ties with other nations now that it’s been effectively deplatformed from the world trade network. On top of that, it will look eastward now that Russia can no longer trust doing business with the duplicitous Collective West.

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