The so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative, which expired today, has been extended. This is stated in a statement released on Saturday by the representative of the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric.
The so-called grain deal, concluded last summer with the participation of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN, allows the export of food and fertilizer from several Ukrainian ports – despite the ongoing war and the restriction of navigation in the Black Sea. The UN emphasizes that the implementation of this initiative “helped to reduce world food prices and stabilize markets”, and had a particularly positive impact on the poorest countries.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also announced the extension of the deal.
Infrastructure Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov tweeted that the agreement has been extended for 120 days – the same period as the first extension in the fall.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, however, had previously stated that they were ready for an extension of only 60 days. Moscow was skeptical about the “grain deal” – it was argued that it was not being fully implemented, as the export of food and fertilizer from Russia continues to face restrictions. At the same time, the supply of food and fertilizers did not fall under the sanctions, but there are difficulties with insurance and financial support for the export of goods from Russian ports.
The UN statement does not say for how long the agreement has been extended, and the Russian Foreign Ministry has not yet issued a statement.
- The agreement, known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, was negotiated separately by Russia and Ukraine with the UN and Turkey in Istanbul last July. It provides for a mechanism for the export of grain and other food products from Ukrainian ports. Until July, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, Ukraine’s ports were completely blocked, the UN and many countries said that the blockade of food exports from the country could lead to global consequences, up to starvation in the poorest countries.
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