UN says grain deal critically important, makes every effort to prolong it
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths calls on Russia and Ukraine to find a compromise on the grain deal after the talks reach a deadlock
CNN reported the information.
Martin Griffiths, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that efforts continue to extend the grain deal, which allows for the safe export of grain from Ukraine through the Black Sea.
"Continuation of the Black Sea Initiative is critically important, as is recommitment by the parties to its smooth and efficient operation," he said. Griffiths called on all parties to extend the Black Sea grain agreement.
Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood said that Russia is to blame for the failure to extend the Black Sea grain deal and that Russia is not interested in negotiating its extension.
Earlier, Foreign Ministry Ambassador-at-Large Olha Trofimtseva said that there are no plans to hold talks on extending the grain deal this week, Reuters reports.
According to her, the grain deal may end on May 18, and grain exports will be suspended.
"Such a termination, (Russia's) exit from the grain initiative is possible, but for everyone and primarily for the Russian side that will mean an escalation of the situation and they will complicate their future negotiation position for themselves," Trofimtseva said.
She noted that Ukraine exported 2.5 million tons of agricultural products in April, despite the slowdown in the use of the grain corridor.
Last week, Russia threatened to withdraw from the “grain deal.” Griffiths met with senior officials from Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul, but said Russia has not agreed to extend the deal and is demanding that the pipeline that supplies Russian ammonia to Ukraine's Black Sea port be reopened.