Turkey’s Erdogan says Ukraine grain deal prolonged

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a press conference on March 17, 2023. — AFP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a press convention on March 17, 2023. — AFP

ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday introduced the extension of a deal that has allowed exports of Ukrainian grain to renew following Russia’s invasion, but it surely was unclear if it had been extended for 60 or 120 days.

Russia stated it had agreed to a 60-day extension, whereas Ukraine’s infrastructure minister stated the deal had been prolonged for 120 days.

Turkey and the United Nations didn’t specify the length.

“Following talks with the 2 events, we’ve assured the extension of the deal that was resulting from expire on March 19,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated in feedback broadcast on Turkish tv simply hours earlier than the settlement was resulting from expire.

“This deal is of significant significance for the worldwide meals provide. I thank Russia and Ukraine, who did not spare their efforts for a brand new extension, in addition to the United Nations secretary normal.”

Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022 noticed Ukraine’s Black Sea ports blocked by warships.

However a deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July 2022 — and signed by Kyiv and Moscow — had allowed for the secure passage of exports of essential grain provides.

Easing meals crunch 

Ukraine was one of many world’s high grain producers, and the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative has helped soothe the worldwide meals crunch triggered by the battle.

“(The) Black Sea Grain Initiative settlement is prolonged for 120 days. Grateful to Antonio Guterres, the United Nations, President Erdogan, (Turkish defence minister) Hulusi Akar and all our companions for sticking to the agreements,” Ukraine’s infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubrakov stated on Twitter.

Russian overseas ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated: “We’re seeing studies from events to the ‘grain deal’ that the deal has been prolonged for 120 days.

“We have now repeatedly acknowledged… that the Russian facet has notified all events to the deal that it’s extending the deal for 60 days,” Zakharova stated in remarks carried by the Interfax information company.

The UN has stated it was doing every part it might to save lots of the settlement, which has helped deliver the explosion in meals costs beneath management.

“The Black Sea Grain Initiative… has been prolonged”, the spokesman for the UN’s secretary-general stated, with out saying how lengthy for.

The preliminary 120-day settlement was prolonged in November till March 18.

However citing considerations {that a} parallel settlement on Russian meals and fertiliser exports was not being revered, Moscow proposed only a 60-day extension.

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