The Black Sea Grain deal, a global food lifeline and key for world fertilizer supplies is being extended for several more months. The grain initiative was set to expire last weekend in what could have been another tragic consequence of Russia’s war against Ukraine, risking starvation in much of the developing world.
At an APEC summit in Thailand, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the deadline was extended 120 days after an earlier G-20 summit.
“Together, we sent a clear message to President Putin that he should extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative which was set to expire on Saturday. Russia, again, heard and apparently felt that the world would not accept Moscow refusing to extend the agreement.”
Once again, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkey’s president helped broker the agreement, key for food and fertilizer exports from the region.
“This is a vital lifeline for the rest of the world, delivering more than 10 million metric tons of much-needed food – the overwhelming majority of which is going to the developing world.”
Blinken accused Russia of “weaponizing food” with its earlier blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and destruction of the country’s ag facilities. The war has driven up prices for wheat, corn, and fertilizer, with Russia and Ukraine among the top exporters.