Erdogan: Russia staying committed to Black Sea Grain Initiative
Russia has agreed to uphold its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The agreement, as stated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will remain in effect for an additional two months, ensuring continued collaboration in this important agricultural endeavor, the Turkish leader said on Twitter.
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"I wish that this decision, which is of vital importance for the smooth operation of global food supply chains and especially for facilitating access to grain for countries that need it, will be beneficial for all parties," Erdogan said.
The Turkish president did not state the conditions under which Russia agreed not to withdraw from the initiative.
But he said that Moscow agreed not to block the departure of Turkish ships from the Ukrainian seaports of Mykolaiv and Olbia.
Since the beginning of the "grain corridor" from August 1, 2022 to mid-May, Ukraine managed to export 30.2 million tons of agricultural products, but in recent weeks the Russians de facto blocked it.
From May 8 to 14, not a single ship passed the "entry" inspection, and today the last loaded ship left the port of Odesa.
Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov, who signed the grain agreement on behalf of Ukraine, confirmed Erdogan's statement.
"I would like to note that the grain initiative was and is valid, as it was extended in March for a period of 120 days, until July 18," he announced on Facebook.
He hopes that Ukraine's partners – Turkey and the UN – will help "eliminate the problems that Russia has been creating for several months in a row by sabotaging inspections and registering a new fleet", and the grain deal will resume full-fledged work.