Turkey believes Black Sea grain deal to be extended
The grain agreement expires on March 18 (Photo:REUTERS / Anna Voitenko)
Turkey believes the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which expires on March 18, will be extended, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on March 12.
"Both sides (Ukraine and Russia) are approaching this positively. We believe it (the agreement) will conclude positively," the Turkish news agency Anadolu said, citing the minister.
Akar said Turkey had made great efforts to ensure the implementation of the grain imports agreement signed in Istanbul on July 22, 2022. Nearly 24 million tons of grain were shipped to those in need thanks to the Grain Initiative, he noted.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited Kyiv on March 8. He discussed with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative among other topics.
Russia announced on March 1 that it would agree to extend the agreement only if the interests of its agricultural producers were taken into account.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed under the mediation of the UN and Turkey last July, unblocked three Ukrainian Black Sea ports for food exports. The grain corridor was launched on August 1, 2022.
On Nov. 17, 2022, the grain agreement was extended for another four months. It will expire on March 18 this year unless extended again.
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