Wednesday, July 12, 2023

UN Offers Putin Access To SWIFT in Exchange for Black Sea Grain Extension

 From Reuters via gCaptain, July 12:

UN Offers Putin SWIFT Access in Exchange for Black Sea Grain Extension, Sources Say

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he extend a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of grain from Ukraine in return for connecting a subsidiary of Russia’s agricultural bank to the SWIFT international payment system, sources told Reuters.

Russia has threatened to ditch the grain deal, which expires on Monday, because several demands to dispatch its own grain and fertilizer abroad have not been met. The last two ships traveling under the Black Sea agreement are currently loading cargoes at the Ukrainian port of Odesa ahead of the deadline.

A key demand by Moscow is the reconnection of the Russian agricultural bank Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT international payment network. It was cut off by the European Union in June 2022 over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. An EU spokesperson said in May the EU was not considering reinstating Russian banks. 

However, the EU is considering connecting to SWIFT a subsidiary of Rosselkhozbank to allow specifically for grain and fertilizer transactions, three sources familiar with discussions told Reuters on Wednesday. The European Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment....


So not Putin personally, which was how I first read the headline.