Ukraine grain deal renewed for at least 60 days

Ukraine grain deal renewed for at least 60 days

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

Ankara/United Nations:

A deal allowing safe Black Sea exports of Ukrainian grain was renewed on Saturday for at least 60 days – half the intended period – after Russia warned against any further extension beyond mid-May due to some Western sanctions. will depend on the removal of

The accord with Russia and Ukraine was signed by the United Nations and Turkey in July and was renewed for another 120 days in November. Its purpose was to combat the global food crisis, which was partly fueled by Russia’s February 24, 2022, invasion of Ukraine and blockade of the Black Sea.

The deal was due to expire on Saturday.

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

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement, “The Black Sea Grain Initiative, along with the MoU to promote Russian food products and fertilizers to world markets, is vital to global food security, especially in developing countries.” For.”

Russia and Ukraine are major global suppliers of food commodities and Russia is also a top exporter of fertilizers.

Ukraine’s Agriculture Minister Mykola Solsky said Ukraine had supplied about 500,000 tonnes of wheat to UN aid programmes, and insisted on Saturday that the Black Sea export agreement had been extended for 120 days and that it would go to those in need. There was an opportunity to help and “save the world”. Hungry.”

Helping to 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 will cut its food and fertilizer exports to Russia. agreed to help.

the demands

Western powers have imposed tough sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. While its food and fertilizer exports are not approved, Moscow says restrictions on payments, logistics and the insurance industry are a barrier to shipments.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Friday that the European Union, the United States and Britain now have two months to exempt from their sanctions “the entire range of operations with the Russian agricultural sector,” if They want the Ukraine Black Sea grain deal to continue.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, responded that Washington had “gone to extraordinary lengths to communicate clear carve-outs for food and fertilizers to governments and the private sector.”

In a letter to UN officials dated March 16, and posted on Twitter by a Russian diplomat on Saturday, Nebenzia explained what Moscow wants to resolve – allowing the Russian Agricultural Bank to return to the SWIFT banking system. Giving and allowing the supply of agricultural machinery and spare parts to Russia.

Nebenzia also said insurance for Russian ships and cargo and restrictions on access to ports needed to be lifted, a pipeline that transports Russian ammonia to a Ukrainian Black Sea port needed to be restarted, and Russian fertilizers The accounts and financial activities of the companies should be unblocked. ,

The United Nations has stated that although progress has been made in facilitating Russian agricultural exports, there were still obstacles, particularly with regard to payment systems.

Dujarric said on Saturday that the UN was firmly committed to implementing both the Ukraine Black Sea grain deal and the agreement with Moscow and “urged all parties to redouble their efforts to fully implement them.”

Ukraine has so far exported about 25 million tonnes, mainly corn and wheat, under the deal, according to the United Nations. The top primary destinations for shipments have been China, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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