Zelenskyy and Erdogan Discussed Extension to Grain Deal: Following a decision by Moscow and Kyiv to extend the grain deal that was brokered by the United Nations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan over the phone on Friday.
The deal, which allowed tens of millions of tons of grain to leave Ukraine’s ports, was eventually agreed to by Russia after provisions were made to ensure that the agreement did not benefit either side of the conflict militarily.
Writing on Twitter, the Ukrainian President praised the decision.
“In a phone call with President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, we praised the extension of the grain deal,” Zelenskyy wrote.
Zelenskyy also thanked the Turkish president for backing the Grain from Ukraine initiative, a scheme designed to allow for the export of fertilizer and other vital foods from Ukraine to countries that depend on the importation of essential food goods. The Ukrainian president announced the scheme during the G-20 summit earlier this week.
President Erdogan announced that the decision to extend the grain deal followed quadrilateral discussions hosted by Turkey.
When Will the Deal Expire?
Russia this week agreed to extend the deal, which was signed in Istanbul, Turkey, for an additional 120 days. The original deal was set to expire by November 19, risking major food shortages in some parts of Africa.
The announcement was also praised by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who also took to Twitter to confirm that the deal will remain in place into the new year.
“I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine. The initiative demonstrates the importance of discreet diplomacy in finding multilateral solutions,” Guterres wrote.
U.S. Announces Additional Funding for Ukrainian Grain Scheme
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also confirmed on Friday that an additional $30 million will be made available for the Grain from Ukraine initiative.
In a statement, USAID noted that before the Russian invasion, Ukraine was one of the top suppliers of grain for the United Nations World Food Program.
“The Kremlin’s brutal war against Ukraine halted shipments and for months, millions of tons of grain and essential food exports were stuck in the country, exacerbating an already catastrophic global food crisis and sending food prices soaring. Since the UN-brokered agreement began in August, the Initiative has helped to stabilize spiraling food prices worldwide and provided desperately needed food to millions of people,” the statement explained.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.