Creating new perspectives since 2009

UN to do its 'utmost' to ensure integrity, continuity of grain deal

March 17, 2023 at 2:32 pm

A cargo of 26,527 tons of corn, departed from port of Odessa to reach Lebanon and anchored at the Black Sea entrance of the Bosphorus as Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkiye and the United Nations (UN) of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) complete inspection on ship in Istanbul [İsa Terli/Anadolu Agency]

UN will do its “utmost” to ensure integrity and continuity of the Black Sea grain deal, which is set to expire on Saturday, the Director at UN Information Services said on Friday, noting that consultations are still ongoing, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Asked by Anadolu if there is a possibility of not extending the agreement — as the deal is set to end Saturday and still no outcome came out of the ongoing consultations – Alessandra Vellucci said in the bi-weekly briefing that they are “not going to speculate on what will be happening about the extension tomorrow”.

“What we can tell you is that today and until when it’s necessary, we will do our utmost to ensure the integrity and the continuity of this agreement,” she said. “That is as much as I can say on this subject.”

Regarding Russia’s announcement that the deal is extended by 60 days, she said there are three parties with the signing authority to this deal and that one of them just made public its position on the matter.

“We can speak for the UN and, on the UN side, the only thing I can say is that the discussions are ongoing,” she said, and added that according to the current agreement, which is public and can be read by everyone, it “foresees the renewal for 120 days.”

The UN wants to continue ensuring that the Memorandum of Understanding, which includes the facilitation of the trade of Russian fertilisers, is put into implementation, she also said.

Vellucci noted that the UN is engaging at all levels regarding the grain deal.

Last July, Turkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022. The deal was extended for 120 days in November.

READ: Ukraine thanks Turkiye for support on Black Sea Grain Initiative