In a March 18 statement, the United Nations confirmed that the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed on July 22, 2022 has been extended.
According to the statement, about “25 million tons of grain and foodstuffs have been moved to 45 countries, helping to lower global food prices and stabilize markets.”
On March 18, Russia said it agreed to a 60-day extension of the grain deal that would allow Ukraine to export its agricultural products through the Black Sea, refuting Ukraine’s earlier announcement that the deal had been extended by 120 days.
Ukraine has criticized Moscow’s push for a shorter period, saying it violates the original agreement.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stressed on March 17 that “Ukraine is one of the key links of global food security, so we insist that the grain deal is indefinite and automatically extended for 120 days.”
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said during his speech in the western Turkish city of Canakkale that “as a result of our talks with the two sides, we secured an extension of this deal”, but did not say for how long.
The UN and Turkey have backed Ukraine’s call for a 120-day rollover period amid pressure from Russia to extend the pact for just 60 days.
The grain deal, which allows ships carrying food products to depart from three designated Black Sea ports in southern Odessa Oblast, was due to expire on March 18.