UN joins Türkiye, Ukraine in call for 120-day grain deal renewal

  17 March 2023    Read: 761
UN joins Türkiye, Ukraine in call for 120-day grain deal renewal

The United Nations on Thursday supported Türkiye and Ukraine by requesting a 120-day extension of an agreement that enables the secure shipment of grain from several Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

The call comes after Russia's announcement that it would only prolong the key pact for half of that term.

The pact is due to expire on Saturday. It was brokered with Russia and Ukraine by the United Nations and Türkiye in July – and renewed in November – to combat a global food crisis that was fueled in part by Russia's Feb. 24, 2022, invasion of neighboring Ukraine and blockade of its Black Sea grain exports.

"For us, the text in the agreement is clear and it calls for a 120-day rollover," U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told Reuters when asked about remarks by Türkiye.

Türkiye said Wednesday that it would continue talks to extend the deal for 120 days rather than 60. Ukraine has also said the agreement should be renewed for 120 days.

"The deal is being extended for 60 days," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday when asked to comment on Dujarric's remarks.

The difference in the Russian and U.N. interpretation of the duration of the deal "may simply be a display of (the U.N.'s) incompetence," she added.

Dujarric later said that "discussions are ongoing." Senior U.N. and Russian officials met in Geneva on Monday.

More about: #Turkiye   #Ukraine   #graindeal  

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