UN: Food deal talks to continue at technical level until May 18
UN, May 15 – RIA Novosti. UN Secretary-General spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said at a briefing that discussions on the fate of the food deal will continue at a technical level until 18 May.
Asked if the meetings were scheduled before May 18, when the deal expires, Dujarric said: “We expect discussions to continue until May 18.”
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He stated that they are expected at the technical level in Istanbul in the coming days.
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. Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in September that the West exports most of Ukrainian grain to their own states, 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 grain initiative is an integral part of the package deal. The second part – the Russia-UN memorandum, designed for three years – provides for the removal of the barrier to Russia’s exports of food and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank 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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