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Ukraine thanks Turkiye for support on Black Sea Grain Initiative

March 15, 2023 at 8:29 pm

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Kyiv [Mustafa Çiftçi – Anadolu Agency]

Ukraine thanked Turkiye on Wednesday for its support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative as the agreement, which was also signed by Russia and the UN, is due to expire Saturday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“Grateful to Turkiye as the signatory of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and personally to (Turkish Defence) Minister, Hulusi Akar, for unwavering adherence to the previously signed agreement and support of the extension for 120 days,” Deputy Prime Minister, Oleksandr Kubrakov, wrote on Twitter.

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Akar told journalists earlier that Ankara began negotiations on extending the deal and its hopes to resolve the issue in a positive way “as soon as possible”.

“We started negotiations with the idea of ​​extending the grain corridor for another 120 days in line with the initial version of the agreement. Our friends with the Russian and Ukrainian sides held talks at the technical level. We also continue our talks at the ministerial level,” he said. “The parties will evaluate them and make their decision.”

Turkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed the deal in Istanbul last July to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. The deal was extended for 120 days in November.

Russia said it backs a 60-day extension to the landmark deal. Ukraine, however, said Moscow’s position to extend the deal “only for 60 days contradicts the document.”​

READ: Turkiye, Russia foreign ministers discuss grain deal