The United Nations and Turkey, which act as intermediaries, announced that the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the resumption of exports of Ukrainian agricultural products has been extended, which will expire on the 18th.
However, there was no mention of the duration of the extension, and concerns remained because both Russia and Ukraine disagreed with each other's claims.
Exports of Ukrainian agricultural products, which were suspended due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, were resumed in November last year after Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement mediated by the United Nations and Turkey, but the focus has been on whether they can be extended as the agreement expires on the 11th.
Against this backdrop, the United Nations and Turkey, which act as intermediaries, issued statements on the 18th stating that the agreement had been extended. However, there was no mention of the duration of the extension.
Regarding the period of extension, the Russian side has been insisting that the extension of the agreement that was previously 120 days will be shortened to 60 days, saying that "exports of Russian agricultural products are still restricted", and after the announcement of the extension, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova posted on SNS that "we agreed to an extension of 60 days and notified in writing." The extension period is only 60 days.
Meanwhile, Kubrakov, the Ukrainian government's deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister in charge of agricultural exports, posted on Twitter that the agreement had been extended for 120 days, contradicting the two sides.
The United Nations and Turkey, which acted as intermediaries, seem to have prioritized extending the agreement amid ongoing concerns about the global food crisis, but concerns remain about the future of the agreement.
Ukrainian side: "Agreement extended for 120 years"
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Kubrakov tweeted that the agreement on the export of Ukrainian agricultural products "has been extended for 120 days, and I would like to thank all our partners, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for their efforts to uphold the agreement."
Russia claims that the extension period of the agreement is 120 days instead of 60 days this time, but the Ukrainian side has indicated that it has decided to extend the agreement for 120 days.
Russia Foreign Ministry Spokesperson: "Agreement on 60-day extension"
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova posted on social media that "we have agreed to an extension of 60 days and notified in writing," and insisted that Russia will extend the extension for 120 days, not 60 days.
The Russian side has previously complained that "exports of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers are still restricted," and the Russian state news agency reported on the 18th that UN Ambassador Nebenzia sent a letter to Under-Secretary General Griffith and others stating that "further extensions can be considered only if there is clear progress in Russian exports."
UN does not mention time period
In a statement issued on the 18th, the United Nations stated that "the agreement has been extended" on the export of agricultural products from Ukraine, and clarified that negotiations over the extension have been concluded. On the other hand, there was no mention of the period to extend.
In a statement, the United Nations emphasized the importance of the agreement, saying, "Approximately 2500 million tons of grain and other products have been exported to 45 countries so far, contributing to lower global food prices and market stability."
It also states that the export of food and fertilizers from Russia to the world is also important for food security in developing countries and the world.
Turkish President: "The agreement is vitally important"
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech in Çanakkale in western Turkey on the 18th, ahead of the UN announcement, and stated, "As a result of discussions with Russia and Ukraine, we have decided to extend the period of the agreement." However, he did not mention the duration of the agreement.
"To date, more than 800 ships have exported 2500 million tons of grain to the world market, and this agreement is vitally important in terms of global food security. I would like to thank the UN Secretary-General for sparing no effort to extend the agreement, along with Russia and Ukraine."