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Friday, March 24, 2023

Ankara is making active efforts to extend the grain deal

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday that Ankara was working intensively to expand a UN-backed initiative that allowed Ukraine to export grain from ports blocked by Russia after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Black Sea Grains Initiative, launched with the mediation of the UN and Turkey in July last year, allowed the export of grain from three Ukrainian ports.

The agreement was renewed in November. It will expire on March 18 unless an extension is agreed.

Moscow expresses its dissatisfaction with a number of aspects of the agreement, referring to the interests of Russian agricultural producers.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure the smooth implementation and expansion of the agreement…,” Cavusoglu said, speaking at a United Nations conference on developing countries in Qatar.

He also revealed that he had discussed efforts to negotiate an extension of the deal with UN Secretary-General António Guterres. As of March 3, the Black Sea Grain Initiative had exported nearly 23 million tonnes of grain and other food products, according to the joint focal point in Turkey, which oversees the implementation of the agreement.

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