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“UN Confirms Extension of Black Sea Grain Initiative to Preserve Global Food Security”

Today, the United Nations confirmed that the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports, has been extended.[0] The deal, which was due to expire on Saturday (Mar 18), will now be extended for 120 days, as requested by Ukraine and Turkey.

The agreement was reached after negotiations between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN, and was signed in Istanbul in July 2022.[1] It involves Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN, and also an agreement between Russia and the UN to facilitate exports of Russian food and fertilizer.[2]

The Black Sea Grain Initiative is crucial for global food security, as grain and fertilizer prices and availability have not returned to pre-war levels, causing hardship particularly in developing countries.

The grain deal has allowed millions of tons of grain to reach global markets, providing critical relief to people in the developing world.[3] The UN Secretary-General has affirmed that the utmost effort will be made by the UN to retain the soundness of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and guarantee its perpetuation.[4]

Russia agreed to extend the deal for 60 days, half the term of the previous renewal period, while Ukraine was insisting on a 120-day renewal. Last week, however, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said that Russia was “ready to accept” a 60-day extension in order to see if progress can be made on the export of Russia's food and fertilizers.[4]

The extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative is a crucial step in ensuring global food security, particularly in developing countries. The UN and Turkey are committed to the success of this initiative and will continue to work to ensure that it is implemented and extended as necessary.

0. “Black Sea grain deal extended, Turkey and Ukraine say” CNA, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/ukraine-invasion-turkey-still-hopeful-extension-grain-deal-3356446

1. “Has the Russia-Ukraine grain deal worked?” DW (English), 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.dw.com/en/has-the-russia-ukraine-grain-deal-worked/a-64991953

2. “Russia agrees to extend the Ukraine grain deal again” WBUR News, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.wbur.org/npr/1164538947/russia-ukraine-grain-deal-extended

3. “Note to correspondents on the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian …” OCHA, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.unocha.org/story/note-correspondents-black-sea-grain-initiative-and-memorandum-understanding-russian-federation

4. “Russia agrees to Black Sea Grain Initiative extension – for now” Seatrade Maritime News, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/dry-bulk/russia-agrees-black-sea-grain-initiative-extension-now

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