Black Sea Grain Initiative renewed

Written by Nick Blenkey
Ukraine grain export cargo

Cargo inspections under Black Sea Grain Initiative UN photo]

Exports of Ukrainian grain are set to keep moving. UN Secretary-General António Guterres today welcomed the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which had been due to expire on Saturday.

More than 11.1 million tonnes of essential foodstuffs have been shipped as part of the agreement involving Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations, since it was signed July 22.

Speaking from Cairo, where he was en route from the G20 summit in Bali to the COP 27 climate conference in Sharm el Sheikh, Guttieres said in a video tweet that he was “deeply moved” and grateful that an agreement had been reached in Istanbul.

The UN chief also expressed his deep commitment to remove the “remaining obstacles to the unimpeded exports of Russian food and fertilizers,” as these remain “essential” to avoid a food crisis next year.

He also praised the role of Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, noting that Istanbul has become an “essential center for discreet diplomacy to solve dramatic problems”.

In a separate statement, Guterres insisted that the United Nations remained “fully committed” to supporting the initiative’s Joint Coordination Center which oversees ship movements to and from Ukraine, “so that this vital supply line continues to function smoothly”.

In a series of tweets, the President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, commended all parties to the agreements on grain and fertilizer, and expressed his gratitude to the Secretary-General for his leadership and “unrelenting commitment” to restoring the world’s food supply.

He said the initiative was “a strong example of crisis management in action, and shows “what is possible when diplomacy, dialogue and multilateralism are prioritized.”

He added that it would help ease the suffering of millions impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • You can monitor previous and currently planned ship movements under the initiative HERE
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