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Ukrainian Black Sea grain export deal extended, UN, Turkey announce

A deal allowing Ukraine to ship grain from Black Sea ports was due to expire on Saturday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the United Nations announced the renewal of a deal allowing Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea, which was due to expire on Saturday.

In a speech in the western city of Canakkale on Saturday, Erdogan said the deal had been signed after talks with Russia and Ukraine, but did not specify how long the deal would be extended.

A deal between two warring sides brokered in July Turkey and the United Nations, more than 11 million tons of agricultural products were shipped from three ports in the Black Sea of ​​Ukraine. This includes 4.5 million tons of maize and 3.2 million tons of wheat.

“This agreement is very important for the world’s food supply,” Erdogan said in televised comments. .”

Before the war, Ukraine was one of the world’s leading agricultural producers, and the so-called Black Sea Grains Initiative helped alleviate the global food crisis caused by the conflict.

“Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of sunflower oil, wheat and cereals,” Al Jazeera’s Stephanie Decker told reporters from outside Kiev. “What is produced and exported here has a direct impact on food prices around the world.”

Following a full-scale Russian invasion last February, Ukrainian Black Sea ports were blocked by warships.

But the grain deal has enabled the safe passage of exports of critical grain supplies to combat the crisis. global food crisisThe original contract was extended by 120 days in November.

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kublakov said the latest extension is for another 120 days. Ankara had previously said it wanted an extension of 120 days. Russia voted in favor of a 60-day extension.

Kubrakov thanked the United Nations and Turkey for their adherence to the grain agreement.

“[The] The Black Sea Grains Initiative agreement has been extended for 120 days,” Kubrakov said on Twitter. “Thank you Antonio Guterres, the United Nations and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. [Defence] Thank you Minister Hulusi Akar and all partners for sticking to the deal. ”

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