ISTANBUL (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd February, 2023) Turkey is making efforts to extend the grain deal expiring on March 18, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.
"Turkey is making efforts to ensure that the grain deal proceeds smoothly. Problems still arise at times, in such situations, Mr. President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) holds telephone talks with (Russian President) Mr. Vladimir Putin and (Ukrainian President) Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In mid-March, the second extended term of the grain deal expires. We are working to extend it, maybe for a longer period. We know how important it is for world food security and for countries in need," Cavusoglu said during a joint press conference with his Argentine counterpart in Istanbul.
In July 2022, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations struck a deal to provide a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships with food and fertilizer exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports. The agreement is part of a larger package deal that also envisions unblocking Russian grain and fertilizer exports. The deal, originally scheduled to expire on November 18, was extended for another 120 days.
However, Putin has repeatedly said that most of the ships carrying Ukrainian grain did not make it to the world's poorest countries and ended up in Europe. At the same time, Putin has voiced his concerns that Russian products are not entering the global markets as promised by the agreement.