Ukraine grain deal renewed for at least 60 days

The United Nations and Turkey said the deal had been extended, but did not specify how long.

Ankara/United Nations:

A deal to allow safe Ukrainian grain exports to the Black Sea was renewed on Saturday for at least 60 days – half the original period – after Russia warned that any further extension beyond mid-May would depend on the lifting of some Western sanctions.

The agreement was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey with Russia and Ukraine in July, and was extended for another 120 days in November. Its purpose is to deal with the global food crisis caused in part by Russia’s February 24, 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the Black Sea blockade.

The deal was originally set to expire on Saturday.

The United Nations and Turkey said on Saturday that the agreement had been extended, but did not specify how long. Ukraine indicated that it had extended by 120 days. But Russia’s cooperation is needed, and Moscow has only agreed to renew the agreement for 60 days.

“The Black Sea Food Initiative and the memorandum of understanding on bringing Russian food and fertilizers to world markets are critical to global food security, especially for developing countries,” UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric said in a statement. “

Russia and Ukraine are the world’s major food suppliers, and Russia is also the largest exporter of fertilizers.

Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Solsky said Ukraine had provided nearly half a million tonnes of wheat to the U.N. aid program and insisted on Saturday that the 120-day extension of the Black Sea export deal was part of continuing to help the needy and “save The world’s opportunity comes from hunger. “

To help persuade Russia to allow Ukraine to resume its Black Sea grain exports last year, a three-year deal was also struck in July in which the United Nations agreed to help Russia export food and fertilizer.


Western powers have imposed severe sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. While its food and fertilizer exports are not subject to sanctions, Moscow says restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance are barriers to shipments.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said on Friday that the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom now have “two months to exempt the entire chain of operations of Russia’s agricultural sector from sanctions” if they want Ukraine’s Black Sea grain deal to go on.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., responded that Washington was “going to great lengths to communicate clear exceptions for food and fertilizers to the government and the private sector.”

In a letter dated March 16 and tweeted by a Russian diplomat, Nebenzia spelled out what Moscow wants to resolve – allowing AgBank to return to the SWIFT banking system and The supply of agricultural machinery and spare parts to Russia is permitted.

Nebenzia also said that restrictions on insurance and access to ports for Russian ships and cargo need to be lifted, pipelines that transport Russian ammonia to Ukrainian Black Sea ports need to be restarted, and the accounts and financial activities of Russian fertilizer companies should be unblocked.

While progress has been made in boosting Russian agricultural exports, obstacles remain, particularly in the payment system, the United Nations said.

Dujarric said on Saturday that the United Nations was firmly committed to implementing Ukraine’s Black Sea food deal and the agreement with Moscow, and urged “all parties to redouble their efforts to fully implement these agreements.”

Ukraine has so far exported nearly 25 million tonnes of corn and wheat under the agreement, according to the United Nations. The main destinations for shipments were China, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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