US, UK, EU call for extending Black Sea grain deal inked in Istanbul

The US, UK and EU on Monday called for extending the Istanbul grain deal that allows the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.

"We call on the parties to the Initiative to extend its term and scale up its operations to meet the evident demand. And we reiterate our support for other efforts by the United Nations to facilitate access to food and fertiliser in global markets," said a joint statement issued by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

The statement said that Western sanctions target Russia’s “war machine” and not the food or fertilizer sectors. “To that end, we have provided clarity to industry and partners,” it added.

It said this includes the UK’s publication of a General License, the US General License 6B as well as updated and detailed EU guidance.

"These provisions make clear that banks, insurers, shippers, and other actors can continue to bring Russian food and fertiliser to the world," the statement said.

"We call on our global partners, industries and services involved in agricultural trade, to take note of these provisions; to act in accordance with them; to bring Ukrainian and Russian food and fertiliser to meet acute demand," it added.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul on July 22 to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February.

A Joint Coordination Center with officials from the three countries and the UN has been set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.

Source: Anadolu Agency