Ukraine’s Black Sea grain export deal extended, UN and Turkey say | Russo-Ukrainian War

An agreement allowing Ukraine to ship grain from Black Sea ports expires on Saturday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the United Nations have announced that an agreement to allow Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, scheduled to expire on Saturday, has been extended.

The agreement was signed after talks with Russia and Ukraine, Erdogan said in a speech in the western city of Canakkale on Saturday, but he did not specify how long the extension would be. .

Russia said it had agreed to a 60-day extension, while Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said the deal had been extended by 120 days.

Agreement between the two warring parties, brokered in July by Turkey and the United Nationssaw more than 11 million tons of agricultural products shipped from Ukraine’s three Black Sea ports, including 4.5 million tons of corn and 3.2 million tons of wheat.

“This agreement is of vital importance to the global food supply,” Erdogan said in televised comments. “I thank Russia and Ukraine, who have worked so hard for a new extension, as well as the secretary-general of the United Nations.”

Before the war, Ukraine was one of the world’s top agricultural producers, and the so-called Black Sea Grains Initiative helped defuse a global food crisis caused by the conflict.

“Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of sunflower oil, wheat and cereals,” said Stephanie Dekker of Al Jazeera, reporting from the outskirts of Kyiv. “What is produced here – and what is exported – has a direct impact on food prices around the world.”

Russia’s all-out invasion last February saw Ukraine’s Black Sea ports blockaded by warships.

But the grain deal has allowed the safe export of vital grain supplies to fight back global food crisis. The original deal was extended in November for 120 days.

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the latest extension was for another 120 days. Ankara has previously said that it wants an extension of 120 days while Russia supports a 60-day extension.

Kubrakov thanked the United Nations and Turkey for complying with the agreements in the grain deal.

“[The] Black Sea Grains Initiative Agreement extended for 120 days,” Kubrakov wrote on Twitter. “Thanks to Antonio Guterres, United Nations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, [Defence] Minister Hulusi Akar and all our partners for complying with the agreement.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “We are looking at reports from the parties to the ‘grain deal’ that the agreement has been extended by 120 days.

“We have repeatedly stated… that the Russian side has informed all parties to the agreement that it will extend the agreement by 60 days,” Zakharova said in a statement carried by the Interfax news agency. upload.


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