EU urges renewal of Black Sea grain deal before looming expiration

The EU foreign policy chief Monday said the international community needs to ensure the renewal of the Black Sea grain deal before it expires this weekend.

In a press conference following an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Josep Borrell said: “The international community needs to ensure the renewal and practical implementation of the Black Sea green initiative beyond the 19th of November.”

Borrell said it is “very much important” that this initiative brokered by the UN and Türkiye is implemented.

Adding that Russia has “no reason” to block food going out from Ukraine to international markets, Borrell called on Russia to “stop weaponizing food.”

The EU, US, and UK on Monday released a joint statement calling on global partners “to bring Ukrainian and Russian food and fertiliser to meet acute demand; and to continue to advance the accessibility of food to all.”

On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which had been paused in February due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The parties are currently negotiating a possible extension and expansion beyond its Nov. 19 deadline, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying Ankara is determined to transfer Russian grain and fertilizers to less-developed countries.

As the EU foreign ministers convened in Brussels, Borrell said they discussed the war as well as other regional issues such as the situation in the Western Balkans.

Borrell said the EU sanctions on Russia are “weakening” the Russian economy and the capacity of the Russian army to renew this material.

As the EU officials sanctioned more than 30 senior Iranian officials and organizations over supplying drones to Russia and the crackdown on protestors, Borrell said: “Drones provided by Iran to Russia is a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.”

Source: Anadolu Agency