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Turkish Defense Minister Believes Black Sea Grain Deal to be Extended

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated on March 12 that he believes the current March 18 deadline for allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported via the Black Sea will be extended.

Shivam Dwivedi
Turkey has previously stated that it is working hard to extend the agreement
Turkey has previously stated that it is working hard to extend the agreement

The United Nations & Turkey brokered a Black Sea grain initiative between Russia and Ukraine last July in order to prevent a global food crisis by allowing Ukrainian grain blocked by Russia's invasion to be safely exported from three Ukrainian ports.

The agreement was extended for a period of 120 days in November and will be renewed on March 18 if no party objects. However, Moscow has already stated that it will only agree to a delay if restrictions on its own exports are lifted.

Turkey has previously stated that it is working hard to extend the agreement. "In separate discussions with the Russian and Ukrainian sides, we saw that both are approaching this positively. We believe it will end positively," Akar told the state-run Anadolu Agency in an interview.

"We believe the duration will be extended on March 18," he added. Although the West has not explicitly targeted Russia's agricultural exports, Moscow claims that sanctions on its payments, logistics, and insurance industries are preventing it from exporting its own grains and fertilizers.

Russia has complained that grain exported by Ukraine under the agreement is going to wealthy countries. Ukraine and Russia are both major global grain and fertiliser suppliers.

According to estimates, the EU will export around 36 million tonnes of soft wheat in 2022. Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, and Nigeria are among the destinations.

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