Ankara, May 13 (LatestNewsX.com): Negotiations to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative are nearing an agreement, as Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish, and UN officials met for two days in Istanbul. Turkey’s Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, announced that the meeting was positive, and parties are heading towards an agreement on the extension of the grain deal.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows for the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products from Black Sea ports, was signed by Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul with Turkey and the United Nations on July 22, 2022. Initially in effect for 120 days, the deal was extended in mid-November 2022 for another 120 days until March 18, 2023. However, Russia only agreed to extend the deal for 60 days until May 18, 2023.
Framework Agreement for Safe Return of Six Ships
During the meeting, parties also reached a framework agreement for the safe return of six ships to Turkey. The Turkish minister noted that Turkey has commercial vessels in Ukrainian ports, and the safe return of these ships is a crucial aspect of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Quadrilateral Meeting in Istanbul
A quadrilateral meeting was held in Istanbul on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the future of the initiative. The memorandum of understanding between Russia and the United Nations on the facilitation of exports of Russian food and fertilizer is a parallel agreement with the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Export of Ukrainian Grain and Russian Food and Fertilizer
While the exports of Ukrainian grain have made strides, Russia has constantly expressed displeasure with the lack of progress in the facilitation of exports of Russian food and fertilizer. Despite this, parties continue to negotiate and work towards an agreement that benefits all involved.
The negotiations for the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative are nearing an agreement, with parties making progress towards a positive outcome. The safe return of six ships and the facilitation of exports of Russian food and fertilizer remain key issues that need to be addressed. However, with continued negotiations and a commitment to finding a solution that benefits all involved, there is hope for a successful outcome.