Russia and Ukraine have agreed to extend the grain deal. This was announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday. 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. Food prices have skyrocketed worldwide Ukraine and Russia are major 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 failure 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. Grain deal ‘vital’ 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 Significance for the stability of the global food supply “More than 800 ships have so far transported 25 million tons of grain under the agreement, said the Turkish head of state. There was also an agreement with Russia that was intended to facilitate the export of Russian food and fertilizers. Russia has repeatedly threatened the agreement to burst and justified this, among other things, that its own exports of grain and fertilizer would be further hampered by Western sanctions.