18 May 2023 15:26

Next two months to be crucial for grain deal - Lavrov

MOSCOW. May 18 (Interfax) - The next two months will be crucial for the future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

"Given the totality of circumstances and requests from our partners, we backed the initiative of President Erdogan, which he put forward yesterday to propose that the deal be extended for another two months," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow.

According to him, the decision was made "with a clear understanding that these two months will be crucial."

"He [UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres] is trying - we can see that - and his employees are trying too, they sporadically communicate with the countries that have imposed the sanctions hindering normal exports of Russian agricultural products, but do not see any result just yet," Lavrov said.

In late April, Guterres "put forward a new idea as to how to ensure the achievement of the initial goal of his own initiative and, in the context of that idea, reaffirmed his pledge to ensure the fulfillment of the Russia-UN memorandum," he said.