Turkey’s Erdogan says Ukraine grain deal extended


Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday announced the extension of a deal that allowed exports of Ukrainian grain to resume following Russia’s invasion.

“We have assured the extension of the agreement that was scheduled to expire on March 19 following discussions with the two parties, Erdogan said in remarks shown on Turkish television just hours before the pact was scheduled to expire at midnight.
Erdogan remained mum over the length of the deal’s extension. Moscow supported a 60-day extension, whereas Ankara has earlier stated that it wanted a 120-day extension.
“This agreement is crucial for the world’s food supply. I appreciate the efforts made by Russia, Ukraine, and the UN secretary general in securing a new prolongation.
Warships surrounded Ukraine’s Black Sea ports in February 2022, during Russia’s full-scale invasion.
However, a deal mediated by Turkey and the UN in July 2022 and ratified by Kiev and Moscow has made it possible for vital food supplies to be exported without incident. In November, the original arrangement was extended to March 18.
The so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative has helped ease the worldwide food crisis brought on by the conflict. Ukraine was one of the top producers in the world.

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