UN aid chief, Martin Griffiths, has stressed the importance of extending the Black Sea Agreement, which includes safe exports of Ukrainian grain. Russian officials have threatened to cancel the agreement on 18 May, due to obstacles preventing exports of grain and fertiliser. At the Black Sea Council session on Ukraine, Griffiths said: “The continuation of the Black Sea Initiative is crucial…We will continue to call on everyone to fulfil their responsibilities as the world watches us very closely.” The UN and Turkey signed the agreement in July 2022, in response to a global food crisis heightened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s demands for the extension of the agreement include restarting a pipeline for the delivery of Russian ammonia to a Ukrainian port. The Joint Coordination Center (JCC), which oversees the agreement, was accused of refusing to discuss restarting the pipeline by Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vasily Nebenzia. Additional Russian demands impact on their own agricultural exports and the number of poor countries benefiting from the agreement. Despite the restrictions imposed on Russian food and fertiliser exports due to sanctions, Russian officials are presently successfully exporting a large crop of grain.
Tags: Black Sea Grain Agreement,Russia,Ukraine War