Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, says all parties have agreed to extend the Black Sea grain deal to facilitate Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern ports.
Guterres, who welcomed the agreement, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
In July, Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements with Turkey and the United Nations to enable the export of millions of tons of grains needed across the world.
The agreement was to restart grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports that have been blocked since Russia’s invasion and ease the ravaging global food crisis.
Guterres, however, announced the continuation of grain export, adding that the UN is committed to eliminating major obstacles.
“I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilisers from Ukraine,” Guterres said.
He also said the UN is “fully committed to supporting the Joint Coordination Centre so that this vital supply line continues to function smoothly.”
“The United Nations is also fully committed to removing the remaining obstacles to exporting food and fertilisers from the Russian Federation. Both agreements signed in Istanbul three months ago are essential to bring down the prices of food and fertiliser and avoid a global food crisis.
“The Black Sea Grain Initiative continues to demonstrate the importance of discreet diplomacy in the context of finding multilateral solutions.”
Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukrainian infrastructure minister, said the deal will be extended for another 120 days.
Kubrakov said continuing the grain export agreement brokered by Turkey with the UN was “another important step in the global fight against the food crisis.”
#BlackSeaGrainInitiative will be prolonged for 120 days. 🇺🇦 @ZelenskyyUa together w/ @antonioguterres 🇺🇳@UN, 🇹🇷 @RTErdogan & Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar @tcsavunma made another important step in the global fight against the food crisis.
— Oleksandr Kubrakov (@OlKubrakov) November 17, 2022
Since the shipment of grain began in July, over 630,000 tonnes of grain and other types of food have been shipped from Ukraine’s ports, according to the UN.
The first African shipment with over 23,000 metric tonnes of wheat from the Ukrainian port left for Ethiopia in August 2022.