Erdogan convinces Putin to extend grain deal for 60 days

Russia unwillingly agrees to extend infamous grain deal for 60 days

The grain deal has been extended for another two months. Turkey will make every effort to fulfill all the conditions of the parties to the agreement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. 

“The [Black Sea] agreement on the grain deal, concluded on July 22, 2022, expired tomorrow. It was decided to extend the agreement on the Black Sea Grain Initiative for two months with the support of our Russian friends and the contribution from Ukrainian friends,” Erdogan said. 

Recep Erdogan thanked Russian President Putin, Ukrainian President Zelensky and UN Secretary General António Guterres for constructive initiatives.

It was reported that Putin and Erdogan may have discussed the provisions that are critical for extending the grain deal. The previous agreement expires on Thursday, May 18.

The Russian Foreign Ministry later confirmed that the grain deal was extended for two months. Distortions in the implementation of the grain deal should be corrected as quickly as possible, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Ukraine's Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov also confirmed the extension of the grain deal. 

“The world will continue to receive Ukrainian products thanks to the efforts of our agreement partners Turkey and the UN,” he said.

The grain deal was concluded in July 2022. It consists of two parts: 

  • the Black Sea Grain Initiative, an agreement on the safe export of Ukrainian grain from the ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny;
  • the removal of restrictions on the access of Russian agricultural products to the world market. 

The agreement was concluded for 120 days. It was extended once for the same period of time. In March 2023, Russia agreed to extend it for only 60 days.

Moscow claims that it was only the part about the Ukrainian grain export that was being implemented, whereas the part concerning Russian agricultural exports was being neglected. 

On May 15, Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said that Russia saw no progress in the implementation of the Russian part of the grain deal concerning exports of agricultural products and fertilisers to world markets.

Russia's key bank specialising in financial settlements for the export of agricultural products, Rosselkhozbank, still remains under sanctions. 

“Russian agricultural supplies continue to be blocked by Western sanctions without any prospect of easing them for supposedly non-sanctioned fertilisers and food,” Nebenzya said.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova
Editor Dmitry Sudakov