UN continues effort to renew Ukraine grain deal: Spokeswoman

The world body continues to conduct consultations in an effort to have the Black Sea Grain Initiative renewed, said a UN spokeswoman.

“We continue to urge parties to continue exerting full and good faith in the implementation of the initiative and to facilitate the timely, safe and unimpeded movement of vessels,” said Stephanie Tremblay, an associate spokeswoman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday.

“As we mentioned before, this is a critical supply line, and it needs to continue delivering more and much-needed food to the world.”

The head of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, Rebeca Grynspan, and UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths will be meeting with a high-level delegation from Russia on Friday in Geneva, she added.

“So, this is a new development on the negotiations.”

The initial duration of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products from Black Sea ports, is 120 days and expires on November 19. The parties had agreed that the deal could be extended automatically on the condition that no party objects.

Russia on October 29 announced the suspension of its participation in the deal brokered by the UN and Turkey following an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Moscow agreed to resume its participation days later following intense diplomatic engagement, Xinhua news agency reported.

Along with the Black Sea Grain Initiative, there was a concurrent agreement on the facilitation of the export of Russian food products and fertiliser. Moscow has repeatedly complained about the lack of progress concerning Russian exports.

Asked whether the UN has received any information from Russia regarding its intentions on the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Tremblay said negotiations are ongoing.

“There’s going to be this meeting (in Geneva) in two days. So let’s not prejudge what will happen at this meeting,” she added.




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