Kiev has exported more than 7.7 million tonnes of agricultural products under the grain deal since its conclusion nearly three months ago, Ukraine’s In-frastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Sunday.
On Saturday, UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative Amir Mahmoud Abdulla said that the grain deal was likely to be extended and, possibly, expanded. A Sputnik correspondent reported earlier on Sunday that Russian and UN representatives were holding negotiations on the grain deal in Moscow.
“Today, together with the Minister of National Defense of Turkiye, Hulusi Akar, we discussed the implementation of the Grain Initiative. More than 7.7 million tons of agricultural products have been exported since its launch, which has stabilized food prices and countered the threat of global hunger,” Kubrakov said in a statement.
The minister noted that three participating parties of the deal, namely, the UN, Turkey and Ukraine, flagged their readiness to extend the initiative and assured they would dedicate “maximum efforts” for its successful implementation.
“There is no doubt that the grain corridor will continue operating after November 22,” Kubrakov noted.
On July 22, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey signed an UN-brokered initiative to provide a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships with food and fertilizer exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that most of the ships carrying Ukrainian grain did not make it to the world’s poorest countries and ended up in Europe. Moscow has also maintained that the part of the deal concerning Russian food products was not working.
On Friday, following the investigation of the explosion on the Kerch Strait Bridge, also known as the Crimean Bridge, Putin said that if it became known that the grain supply corridors were used by Ukraine to carry out terrorist attacks, the grain deal might be revised.—AP