US welcomes extension of Black Sea grain deal

The US welcomed the extension of the Black Sea grain deal on Wednesday and expressed strong support for the efforts made by the UN and Trkiye to reach the agreement. "We welcome President Erdogan's announcement of the extension of the Black Sea grain Initiative. As we've said before, we strongly support the UN's and Turkey's efforts on the deal which keeps global food and grain prices low," State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters. "But as Secretary (Antony) Blinken has previously said, we should not need to remind Moscow every few weeks to keep their promises and to stop using people's hunger as a weapon in their war against Ukraine. We should not need to remind Russia to stop obstructing inspections to allow grain to flow to vulnerable people who need it," he said. "The world needs the Black Sea Grain Initiative," he said, adding that the world also needs "Russia to end its illegal war against Ukraine, which would allow farmers to return to their fields, return agricultural trade to normal and immediately and significantly improve global food security." Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the deal, which was set to expire May 18, was extended for two months. Trkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine initially signed the agreement in Istanbul last July to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were halted after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022. The deal has been extended three times since it was first signed for 120 days. It was first extended in November 2022 and then in March.

Source: Anadolu Agency