Extension of the Ukrainian grain agreement, but uncertainty over its duration | War in Ukraine

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Ukrainian grain agreement extended, but duration uncertain | War in Ukraine

Russia has just expressed its disagreement with the renewal of the agreement for 120 days for the transport of Ukrainian cereals by the Black Sea which was to end today. (File photo)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday the extension of the international agreement on the export of Ukrainian cereals during a meeting on Saturday. a televised speech, which was confirmed by a Russian spokeswoman a few hours later.

Welcoming this announcement, the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, for his part indicated that the agreement was extended for 120 days initially, Saturday morning.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative is extended for 120 days. We thank Antonio Guterres, the United Nations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, [Turkish Defense Minister] Hulusi Akar, and all our partners for confirming this agreement, he tweeted.

However, later on Saturday, Russia contradicted the Turkish President and the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure.

We see statements from various parties that ''the grain deal'' was extended by 120 days, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Interfax.

“We have repeated several times that […] the Russian side has informed all stakeholders that the agreement is extended for 60 days. »

— Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Moscow has agreed to an extension of the Ukrainian grain export deal for just 60 days and no 120 as stated by Kyiv, Ms. Zakharova claimed.

This agreement is of vital importance for the global food supply. I thank Russia and Ukraine, who have spared no effort for a new extension of the agreement, as well as the Secretary General of the United Nations, said Mr. Erdogan.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara (File Photo)

The Black Sea Grain Initiative signed in July 2022 by Ukraine, Russia and Turkey, with the help of the UN, has alleviated the global food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine by allowing the export of almost 25 million tons of corn, wheat and other cereals.

According to its terms, the agreement was to be automatically extended for the same period [of 120 days] unless one of the parties notifies the other of its intention to terminate or modify it. It was effectively extended by 120 days in November, until this Saturday, March 18 at 11:59 p.m. Istanbul time.

A farmer harvests his wheat, on July 7, 2022, near Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region. (File photo)

But on March 13, Russia, unhappy with the application of a second agreement to facilitate its own fertilizer exports , had made it known that it only accepted a 60-day extension.

Since then, the UN has done everything possible to save this mechanism which has made it possible to ;appease the price spike since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Turkey, where the joint coordination center of the The agreement, which organizes the control of ships, said on Friday that it still hoped for a 120-day extension.

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