A Turkish minister said on Thursday that Ankara is making efforts to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative set to expire on March 18.
“We continue our discussions (on the deal) with the United Nations, Ukraine and Russia, which are the parties to the grain initiative,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
“Ukraine expressed a positive opinion for a second extension of the initiative. Russia also displays a positive attitude toward its extension,” he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.
At least 790 ships have left Ukrainian ports so far carrying nearly 23.5 million tonnes of grains, Akar noted.
Nearly 40 percent of the grain passing through the corridor was transported to Europe, 30 percent to Asia, 13 percent to Türkiye, 12 percent to Africa and 5 percent to the Middle East, according to the ministry statement.
On July 22, 2022, Russia and Ukraine separately signed a document in Istanbul with Türkiye and the United Nations on grain and fertilizer exports from Ukraine and Russia to ensure supplies to global markets amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The deal, due to expire on Nov. 19, 2022, was extended for another 120 days to March 18. ■