Published: 10:29, March 9, 2023 | Updated: 10:39, March 9, 2023
UN, Ukraine call for extension of Black Sea Grain Initiative
By Xinhua

In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (right) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pose for a photo during their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, March 8, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

KIEV - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which expires on March 18, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

On July 22, 2022, Russia and Ukraine separately signed a document in Istanbul with Türkiye and the UN to allow Ukraine and Russia to export grain and fertilizer to ensure supplies to global markets amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Speaking after a meeting with Guterres in Kiev, Zelensky stressed the importance of the initiative for global food security.

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"The continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative after March 18 is critically necessary for the whole world," Zelensky said.

For his part, Guterres said that about 23 million tons of grain were exported under the initiative, which helped lower the global food prices.

"I would like to note the extreme importance of continuing the Black Sea Grain Initiative," Guterres said.

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On July 22, 2022, Russia and Ukraine separately signed a document in Istanbul with Türkiye and the UN to allow Ukraine and Russia to export grain and fertilizer to ensure supplies to global markets amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The deal, due to expire on Nov 19, 2022, was extended for another 120 days. Guterres has repeatedly called for the deal's further extension.