— The possible revival of the Grain Deal remains a pressing issue. And reconnecting Rosselkhozbank [Russian Agricultural Bank] to the SWIFT system was one of the five conditions for Russia's return to the agreement. Are Moscow and Brussels currently engaged in a dialogue on reconnecting Rosselkhozbank? In your opinion, how likely is the EU to lift this sanction for the sake of restoring the Grain Deal?
We are not engaged in any dialogue with the European Union on unilateral illegitimate sanctions against our country, nor do we intend to hold any. This equally applies to the conditions for the resumption of Russia's participation in the Black Sea Initiative.
Brussels has repeatedly made it clear that it is not going to contribute to the implementation of the goals set out in the Russia-UN Memorandum on normalising Russian agricultural exports. Moreover, by its actions, the EU has created preconditions for Russia to suspend its participation in the Grain Deal. We would like to recall that the Russian side's adoption of this decision was preceded by a public statement by the EU that the disconnection of Rosselkhozbank from the SWIFT system is part of its sanctions policy, which Brussels does not intend to revise.
The comment made on 18 September 2023 by the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell on the margins of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York that there is not any possibility of reaching an agreement on the issue of reviving the Black Sea Initiative confirms yet again that the EU has made its choice. Moreover, Josep Borrell allegedly said "a thousand times" that anti-Russian sanctions do not affect the exports of food and fertilizers.
Well, in reply thereto we would like to say that the EU may reproduce its arguments, which are contrary to reality, even a million times, but this will in no way affect the clear view of the entire world community, including the countries of the Global South, that the food crisis was provoked precisely by EU restrictions, primarily against Russian exports of agricultural products and fertilisers. Everyone but the EU understands that Russia is not setting conditions, but is demanding that the commitments under the Russia-UN Memorandum be honoured.
Given the economic war unleashed against us, there is no reason to expect the European Union to care about the food security of countries in need.