22 Dec 2023 22:09

UN secretary-general shows no optimism about idea of Black Sea grain deal reinstatement

NEW YORK, UN. Dec 22 (Interfax) - While the United Nations remains in touch with all parties as concerns the possible reinstatement of the Black Sea grain deal, it sees little sense now in reinstating the former agreements in their original shape, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

"We've been in contact with both sides, trying to explore new forms. I don't think the repetition of grain deal will make sense," Guterres said at a press conference in New York.

At the same time, Guterres said it would be good to "have conditions for freedom of navigation in the Black Sea."

The grain deal was concluded in Istanbul on July 22, 2022. Two documents were signed by the UN, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine to open a grain corridor from three Ukrainian ports (Chernomorsk, Odessa and Yuzhny) and to lift restrictions on Russian food and fertilizer exports. The initiative was extended for 120 days in November 2022 until March 2023, followed by another two two-month extensions. Moscow forwarded its objections to the grain deal's further extension to Ankara, Kiev and the UN on July 17, 2023.