It was initially unclear until when it will be extended. Without an agreement, the agreement would have expired on March 19. The agreement on the Black Sea Grains Initiative came about in July 2022 through the mediation of the United Nations and Turkey.
It provides for the release of Ukrainian ports and a corridor in the Black Sea for grain exports. Russia had blocked Ukrainian grain exports for months after the start of its war of aggression on February 24, 2022.
Ukraine and Russia are important suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other foodstuffs to countries in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Before the war began, Russia was also the world’s largest exporter of fertilizers. The disruption of these supplies following the Russian invasion in February 2022 drove up food prices around the world and fueled fears of a hunger crisis in poorer countries.
“Following our talks with both sides, we have reached the extension of the agreement, which was due to expire on March 19,” Erdogan said at a ceremony opening a facility in Canakkale, western Turkey. He thanked Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations for their efforts to uphold the deal, which he described as “vital to the stability of the world’s food supply.” More than 800 ships have so far transported 25 million tons of grain under the deal, said the Turkish head of state.
In addition, there was an agreement with Russia to facilitate the export of Russian food and fertilizers. Russia has repeatedly threatened to scrap the agreements, citing, among other things, that its own exports of grain and fertilizer would be further hampered by Western sanctions.
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Russia: Grain deal extended by 60 days
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