The grain deal will be extended only if the parties to the deal keep their promises to Russia, President Vladimir Putin said on Rossiya 24 TV channel.
“We extended this so-called deal many times out of our free will. <...> Well, that's enough, after all. <...> Western countries are not going to fulfil these promises. Here is an option - not the extension first and then the fulfilment of promises, but first the fulfilment of promises, and then our participation. What do I mean? We can suspend our participation in this deal, and if everyone says that they will fulfil the promises that they gave us, let them fulfill those promises, and we will immediately join the deal. Again,” Putin said.
According to him, no one has never met any of Russia's requirements within the scope of the grain deal. This is "a one-sided game," Putin said.
The grain deal expires on July 17th.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov later told RIA Novosti that Russia has not made a final decision on its participation in the grain deal.
Moscow and Kyiv concluded the grain deal in July 2022, independently of each other, with Turkey and the UN acting as mediators. The agreement consists of two parts.
Russia has repeatedly stated that the second part of the deal is not being implemented, whereas the stated goal of the agreement - food supplies to impoverished countries - has nothing to do with reality, since those countries received only 2.6 percent of the cargo sent from Ukrainian ports.
Russia does not mind discussing security guarantees for Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said in the interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel.
According to the president, any country has the right to ensure its own security, choosing an appropriate method for that.
“There is only one restriction. It is connected with the fact that, while achieving the security of one country, threats to another country should not arise,” he stressed. Ukraine itself refused security guarantees, which were enshrined in the draft agreements following the meeting in Istanbul, Putin also said.
According to Putin, the promised security guarantees were described in the document in great detail, but Kyiv eventually "threw them into a trash can."
“We are not opposed to discussing this kind of issues, but only provided that the security of the Russian Federation is ensured,” Putin added.
“As for Ukraine’s NATO membership, we have repeatedly said that this poses a threat to Russia’s security, obviously,” the president said, adding that the threat of Ukraine's NATO membership was one of the reasons for Russia to launch the special military operation.
At the same time, Putin is confident that Ukraine's entry into the alliance will not raise the security of the country, but will make the world much more vulnerable and create additional tensions on the international arena.
Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine often refuse to use Western tanks, because the Russian forces see those tanks as priority targets, Putin also said in the interview.
“I can tell you that Ukrainian servicemen often refuse to even get into those tanks, because they are a priority target for our guys,” the head of state said.
NATO's Boeing P-8 Poseidon was circling above the easternmost point of Romania at the time of the missile strike on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol