Turkey and Ukraine announce extension of grain agreement across the Black Sea
A deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports was extended after it was due to expire on Saturday, after days of talks brokered by Turkey to extend the deal.
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 war on Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and the blockade of Black Sea ports.
Speaking in the western city of Çanakkale, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "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."
Neither Erdogan nor the U.N. statement specified the agreed extension duration.
Russia had called for the deal to be extended for only 60 days, half of the previous renewal period, while Ukraine insisted on a 120-day extension.
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Koprakhov said the agreement had been extended for 120 days.
Kobrakov wrote on Twitter: "The agreement (Black Sea Pills Initiative) has been extended by 120 days."
"We thank UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the United Nations, President Erdogan, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and all our partners for their commitment to the agreements," he said.
The U.N. statement said the deal allowed the supply of 25 million tonnes of cereals and foodstuffs during its first two periods, helping to lower global food prices and stabilize markets.