The grain deal was extended again, but Russia is dissatisfied with restrictions on its own food and fertilizer exports.
In March, Russia had already caused an uproar when it unilaterally decided to extend the agreement by only 60 days instead of 120 days as agreed in the original text. Even now only 60 days have been extended.
It was not immediately clear why Russia agreed to the extension and to what extent it has guaranteed its own exports of food and fertilizer. The Turkish president also did not respond. “Work will continue to ensure that all conditions of the agreement are met,” he said. Erdogan thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for their support and contribution.
According to a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, the agreement was extended to “assist countries in need”. However, he added that Russia still sees the situation with the agreement the same way. That ruling, and the fact that the agreement was extended again for only 60 days, shows that Russia has little or no hard guarantees for its soft exports of food and fertilizer.
The Ukrainian government welcomes the extension of the agreement, but calls for longer extension periods and more efficient implementation of the agreement. The United States and the United Nations are also responding positively. The US government is looking for a “more sustainable” solution. According to the United Nations, almost 30 million tons of grain have been transported from Ukrainian ports since the start of the agreement.
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