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 mentioned it had agreed to a 60-day extension, whereas Ukraine’s infrastructure minister mentioned 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 now have assured the extension of the deal that was because of expire on March 19,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned in feedback broadcast on Turkish tv simply hours earlier than the settlement was because of expire.

“This deal is of important 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 common.”

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 protected passage of exports of vital grain provides.

Easing meals crunch 

Ukraine was one of many world’s prime 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 mentioned on Twitter.

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

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

The UN has mentioned it was doing every little thing it might to avoid wasting the settlement, which has helped deliver the explosion in meals costs underneath management.

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

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

However citing issues {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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