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Ukraine welcomes rollover of grain deal, but Russia again objects

PoliticsWorld PoliticsUkraine welcomes rollover of grain deal, but Russia again objects
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A deal allowing Ukrainian grain exports to pass through the blocked Black Sea has been extended for 120 days, Ukraine announced on Saturday, but Russia again held that it would only agree to a full rollover if Export of its own food and fertilizers should be freed.

Infrastructure Minister Alexander Kubrakov thanked “all our partners for sticking to agreements” do Saturday afternoon. “Due to our joint efforts, 25M tons of Ukrainian grain” have been “delivered to world markets,” he said.

The announcement comes after a week of wrangling after Russia said on Monday that it had agreed to expand the Black Sea Grain Initiative but only for 60 days, Moscow kicked up its heels again on Saturday, however, despite objections from Kiev and reminders from the United Nations and Turkey that the original agreement called for a minimum 120-day extension.

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Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea on Saturday on an unannounced visit to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine. Mikhail Razvozayev, the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, welcomed Putin and took him to see a new children’s centre, Reuters reported. informed of,

The grain deal – described by aid groups as a lifeline for food insecure countries – was due to expire on Saturday.

Initially mediated by the United Nations and Turkey after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 sparked a global food crisis, the agreement was extended by 120 days in November.

Russia will consider extending the deal further only if “concrete progress” is achieved in implementing a three-year agreement with the United Nations to facilitate exports of its own food and fertiliser. according to a letter Posted on Twitter on Saturday by its mission to the United Nations in New York.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due to attend an EU summit in Brussels next week to seek ways to unblock Russian food and fertilizer shipments. blocked by restrictions Targeting Russian oligarchs and the State Agricultural Bank. The Kremlin argues that it is responsible for food insecurity in the Global South.

Ukraine and Russia produce a substantial portion of the world’s grain and fertilizer, together supplying 28 percent of globally traded wheat and 75 percent of sunflower oil during peacetime.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) has Called on The UN will broker a renewal of the deal for a full 12 months, warning that it is needed “to help address hunger in the most food insecure countries”.

number of people encountered food insecurity According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), there will be a record 345 million at the end of 2021, up from 282 million last year. Africa is one of the worst affected regions, especially East African countries such as Somalia and Ethiopia facing extreme hunger.

“The shipment of grain to the countries most in need, including Somalia, hinges on a significant renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” the IRC said, adding that Somalia receives more than 90 percent of its grain from Ukraine.

This story has been updated.

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