Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday the extension of a deal that resumed Ukrainian grain exports after the Russian invasion.
“After negotiations with both parties, we made sure that the agreement, which was due to expire on March 19, would be extended,” RT Erdogan said in comments aired on Turkish television hours before midnight when the agreement was due to expire.
RT Erdogan did not specify for how long the agreement was extended. Ankara had previously said it wanted to extend the deal for 120 days, while Russia favored a 60-day extension.
“This agreement is vital for the global food supply.” I thank Russia and Ukraine, who have spared no effort for a further extension, as well as the Secretary General of the United Nations,” he said.
After Russia launched a full-scale invasion in February 2022, warships blockaded Ukrainian Black Sea ports.
However, an agreement brokered by Turkey and the UN in July 2022, signed by Kyiv and Moscow, allowed the safe transport of most grain exports. In November, the initial agreement was extended until March 18.
Ukraine was one of the largest grain producers in the world before the war, and the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative helped alleviate the global food crisis caused by the war.
Source: The Delfi