Developing world would suffer if Ukraine grain deal not extended: US

Ns News Online Desk:Ns News Online Desk: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Russia to extend the Türkiye-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, as he warned that the developing world would suffer if Moscow fails to renew the deal.

“If Moscow follows through on its threat, developing countries including in the region will pay the price including quite literally with higher food prices, as well as greater food scarcity,” Blinken told reporters after Southeast Asian talks in Jakarta.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia has not made any statements regarding the extension of the Ukraine grain deal.

Earlier on Friday, President Tayyip Erdoğan said he was in agreement with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that the deal, which allows the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, should be extended.

Erdoğan voiced hope that the parties to the Black Sea grain deal will extend the agreement set to expire on Monday.

“We are preparing to host (Russian President Vladimir) Putin in Türkiye in August. We are of the same mind on the extension of the Black Sea grain corridor.

“(U.N. Secretary-General Antonio) Guterres sent a letter to Putin. I hope that with this letter, we assure the extension of the grain corridor deal with the joint efforts of us and Russia,” Erdoğan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

This will help solve the problems of African countries, Erdoğan said, adding that Putin had also agreed with this. The first ship carrying grain under the historic deal left in August from the Ukrainian port of Odessa.

Türkiye, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war through negotiations.

Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s leading grain exporters.

Russia has threatened to ditch the initiative because several demands to dispatch its own grain and fertilizer abroad have not been met. A key demand by Moscow is the re-connection of the Russian Agricultural Bank

Previously, Putin offered to send grain to poor countries free of charge.

A year ago, Türkiye and the U.N. brokered and signed an agreement in Istanbul with Russia and Ukraine to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which had been paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began that February. A Joint Coordination Center (JCC) was set up in Istanbul with officials from the three countries and the U.N. to oversee the shipments.

(Rosselkhozbank) to the international payment network SWIFT. It was cut off by the European Union in June 2022 over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The EU is considering connecting a subsidiary of Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT to allow for grain and fertilizer transactions, reports said Wednesday.

By Agencies

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