Ukraine’s Black Sea grain export agreement extended, UN and Turkey say | News of the war between Russia and Ukraine

The deal, which allows Ukraine to ship grain from Black Sea ports, was set to expire on Saturday.

The agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, which expires on Saturday, has been renewed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the UN announced.

The agreement was concluded after negotiations 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 agreement would last.

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

A deal between the two warring sides brokered by Turkey and the UN in July has brought more than 11 million tons of agricultural products from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, including 4.5 million tons of corn and 3.2 million tons of wheat.

“This agreement is vital for global food security,” Erdogan said in televised comments. “I thank Russia and Ukraine, who did not spare their efforts for the new enlargement, as well as the UN Secretary General.”

Before the war, Ukraine was one of the world’s leading agricultural producers, and the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative has helped alleviate global food shortages caused by the conflict.

“Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of sunflower oil, including wheat and grain,” said Al Jazeera’s Stephanie Dekker, reporting from a suburb of Kiev. “What is produced here – and what is exported – directly affects food prices around the world.”

Russia’s full-scale attack in February last year blocked the Black Sea ports of warships in Ukraine.

However, the grain agreement has enabled the safe passage of exports of critical grain supplies to combat the global food crisis. The original contract was extended by 120 days in November.

Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the latest extension is 120 days. Ankara had previously announced that it wanted a 120-day extension, while Russia supports a 60-day extension.

Kubrakov thanked the UN and Turkey for complying with the grain agreement agreements.

“[The] The Black Sea Grain Initiative agreement will be extended by 120 days, Kubrakov said on Twitter. “Thank you to Antonio Guterres, the UN, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, [Defence] Minister Hulusi Akar and all our partners for keeping the agreement.”

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

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

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