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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Turkey and Ukraine announce the extension of the grain agreement across the Black Sea

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the renewal of the agreement to export Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports after it was scheduled to expire today, Saturday, at a time when a minister in the Ukrainian government said that the extension had been agreed for a period of 120 days.

Erdogan added in a speech in the western city of Çanakkale, according to Reuters "The grain corridor agreement was due to expire today. As a result of our talks with both sides, it was agreed to extend this agreement"While the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, said that the agreement was extended by 120 days.

The agreement with Russia and Ukraine was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July and renewed for another 120 days in November to combat a global food crisis fueled in part by Russia’s February 24, 2022 invasion of Ukraine and blockade of the Black Sea ports.

Russia had previously called for extending the agreement by only 60 days, half of the previous renewal period, while Ukraine insisted on extending it for 120 days.

Kubrakov wrote on Twitter "The Black Sea Grain Initiative agreement has been extended by 120 days"adding "We thank (UN Secretary General Antonio) Guterres, the UN, President Erdogan, Minister Hulusi Akar (Turkish Defense Minister) and all our partners for their commitment to the agreements.".

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