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US national security advisor says grain deal extension ‘a good thing'

May 18, 2023 at 9:58 am

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during the White House press briefing [Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images]

The US national security advisor described the extension on Wednesday of the Black Sea grain deal as “a good thing”. Speaking to reporters alongside White House spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre, Jake Sullivan said that, “We will continue to support efforts to ensure the grain gets to global markets.”

Sullivan voiced disappointment that “even in a moment of extension,” Russia rhetorically continues to hold the deal hostage in various ways to suggest its days are numbered.

“We just think the world deserves certainty that this corridor for grain will be there on a sustainable basis,” he explained, “so that the world can continue to be fed, in particular poor countries.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the deal, which was set to expire today, was being extended for two months.

Turkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine initially signed the agreement in Istanbul last July to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Exports were halted after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022.

The deal has been extended three times since it was first signed. It was first extended in November last year and then again in March.

READ: Erdogan says Black Sea grain deal extended for two months