Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: World food prices will rise if the food deal is not extended
ISTANBUL, 5 May – RIA Novosti. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that if the food agreement is not extended, global food prices will inevitably rise.
“Of course, prices will rise, so the agreement needs to be extended, otherwise the world will face price increases,” Cavusoglu said.
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The minister stressed that the agreement benefits “all countries in the world, both poor and rich”. He also noted that one must be realistic and understand that the deal “will not last forever.”
Çavuşoğlu previously said that there is no guarantee to extend the grain agreement at the moment, but active work continues. According to him, the return of the Russian Ziraat Bank to the SWIFT system is discussed within the framework of the negotiations on the grain agreement, but the emergence of a Turkish bank as an intermediary is not excluded.
Commenting on the implementation of the terms of the grain deal, Russian President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier that the reasons for optimism are still “very modest”, but the contacts are ongoing. Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that working contacts between the representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN continue at the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, and that this is necessary for inspections. The dates of the high-level meeting have not been finalized.
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The Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed by the representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN on July 22, 2022, includes the export of grain, food and fertilizer to the Black Sea from Ukraine’s three ports, including Odessa. The coordination of ship traffic is carried out by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul. In September 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out that the West exports most of Ukrainian grain to its own provinces, not to needy countries in Africa. Russia extended the agreement for 60 days from March 18, 2023 – until May 18, Ukraine insists that the agreement was extended by 120 days.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative is an integral part of the package deal. The second part – the Russia-UN agreement, designed for three years – provides for the removal of the barrier to Russia’s exports of food and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Agricultural Bank of Russia to SWIFT, the resumption of the supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and services. Restoration of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline and a number of other measures. As stated in Moscow, this part of the package deal has not yet been implemented.
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