The deal between Russia and Ukraine to allow food shipments through the Black Sea has been extended. The agreement is aimed at easing global food shortages by facilitating Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports.
The U.N. Secretary-General announced the agreement has now been extended for 120 days. It was set to expire on Saturday.
The pact was initially reached in July and brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
The grain deal created a protected sea transit corridor and was designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports to resume from three ports in Ukraine, a major producer of grains and oilseeds.
“I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea grain initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers from Ukraine,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
Guterres said the United Nations was also fully committed to removing any remaining obstacles that remain in exporting food and fertilizers from Russia.
Russia sees this part of the deal as critical. The export of Russian ammonia via a pipeline to the Black Sea has not yet been agreed upon as part of the renewal.
The renewal of the Black Sea grain initiative is good news for global food security and for the developing world, said Rebeca Grynspan, secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Grynspan called the renewal a “beacon of hope” and said next must be solving the fertilizer crunch.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a drop in food shipments from Ukraine. This has played a role in this year’s global food price crisis.
Since July, some 11.1 million tonnes of agricultural products have been shipped under the grain deal, including 4.5 million tonnes of corn and 3.2 million tonnes of wheat.