Amid a new wave of Russian attacks, countries extended the initiative for the safe navigation of ships carrying food products and fertilizers, mediated by the UN and Turkey. It was to expire this Saturday
A cargo ship carrying Ukrainian corn awaits inspection at the anchorage area at the southern entrance to the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey (Reuters)
The agreement to export grain from Ukrainian ports has been extended for a period of four months, allowing for new food shipments from three Ukrainian ports located on the Black Sea.
Oleksii Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine reported Thursday on its Facebook page that, within the so-called initiative for the export of grain from the Black Sea, agreed with Russia with the mediation of the UN and Turkey, an agreement has been reached to extend exports for another four months.
The agreement was confirmed by the Ukrainian president himself, Volodimir Zelensky, on his Twitter account. “The grain agreement will last 120 days. Ukraine together with Antonio Guterres (UN Secretary General) and Recep Erdogan (President of Turkey) made a key decision in the global fight against the food crisis”, explained the president.
For his part, Guterres said: “I applaud the agreement between all parties to maintain the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of exports of grain, food products and fertilizers from Ukraine”
Guterres and the Ukrainian minister of Infrastructure, on a visit to the port of Odessa, after a Russian attack (Reuters)
Erdogan had assured this Wednesday from Bali (Indonesia), where he was attending the G20 summit, that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, had given him the green light to renew the agreement that facilitates the exit of Russian and Ukrainian cereals and fertilizers, signed in July and that it expired on the 19th.
“An agreement has been reached to extend the operation of the so-called 'grain corridor'. This will allow Ukrainian food to be exported from three Black Sea ports for another 120 days,” Kubrakov confirmed today.
In addition, he noted that Ukraine has officially appealed to the other parties to the initiative to accept the offer to extend it for at least another year and include the Ukrainian port of Mykolaiv. “We are waiting for your response,” Kubrakov said in this regard.
The minister stressed the importance of ensuring the effective work of the Joint Coordination Center to fulfill this agreement, adding that Ukraine has made their proposals to solve existing problems.
Ukrainian grain at a terminal ( Reuters)
“We must ensure that the export capacity of our ports is used to the maximum in order to supply the world with the necessary volumes of food in a timely manner”, summarized the minister.
The grain export deal was signed in July and, although it was briefly suspended by Russia in October due to a Ukrainian attack on the Crimean peninsula, it was resumed shortly thereafter.
In principle the pact was to expire on November 19, so the UN and Turkey, which are part of the coordination and supervision of the agreement, have held intense negotiations with Russia and Ukraine to extend it.
Some 10 million tons of grain and other food from Ukraine and Russia have already been exported through the grain deal or the Black Sea Grain Initiative, according to data of the UN.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned that not renewing the agreement “would be very serious” and that the most immediate consequence would be the increase in cereal prices.
(With information from EFE)