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Erdogan wants to extend grain deal for another 3 months

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 9, 2023 2:33 PM 2 min read
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the media during a joint press conference with President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 08, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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The Black Sea Grain Initiative, allowing Ukraine to continue exporting its grain amid Russia's full-scale war, was prolonged on May 17, and is due to expire on July 18.

“I’m hopeful for an extension,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on July 8 in a joint speech with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Our hope is that it will be extended at least once every three months, not every two months. We will make an effort in this regard and try to increase the duration of it to two years,” Erdogan said.

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 17, after weeks of Russia threatening to back out of it if certain terms were not met.

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…

Russia has repeatedly threatened to terminate the deal, while sabotaging and delaying the inspections of ships carrying Ukrainian food products under the 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.

Ukraine’s grain overload sours country’s relationship with key allies
Negotiations over a European import ban on Ukrainian grain between the European Commission and its eastern flank members were stalled as of April 23. Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria asked to extend protection measures after the EU’s one-year decision to abolish customs duties, whil…
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