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Erdogan: Grain deal extended for 2 more months

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 17, 2023 5:44 PM 2 min read
A vessel is seen in the port upon arriving under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Odesa, southern Ukraine, on April 12, 2023. (Yulii Zozulia / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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The Black Sea Grain Initiative, allowing Ukraine to continue exporting its grain amid Russia's full-scale war, has been extended for 60 more days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 17.

"We will continue our efforts to ensure that all the conditions of the agreement are fulfilled and that it will continue in the next period," Erdogan said on Twitter.

The UN and Turkey-brokered deal, first signed in July 2022, has been paramount in subduing soaring food prices worldwide. Russia's all-out war prevented Ukraine, one of the world's top grain suppliers, from exporting agricultural products from its Black Sea ports.

The deal has been extended several times since then. The previous extension was agreed upon on March 18, after weeks of Russia threatening to back out of it if certain terms were not met.

Since last fall, Russia has been sabotaging and delaying the inspections of ships carrying Ukrainian food products under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

According to Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry, due to Russia's actions, the worldwide exports of Ukrainian grain have been reduced by 15-18 million tons.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities insist that the grain deal be open-ended and automatically extended for 120 days.

Agriculture Minister: Russia’s grain corridor sabotage could lead to higher food prices
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Russia’s blockage of Ukrainian seaports triggered a global food crisis. The global food crisis was partially resolved in July when an UN-backed grain deal was reached, forcing Russia to unblock three ports in Odesa Oblast for…
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