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U.N. and Turkey Extend Black Sea Grain Initiative for 120 Days, Securing Global Food Security

The United Nations and Turkey have announced that a deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports has been extended for 120 days.[0] The agreement was initially brokered by the U.N. and Turkey last July after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 fueled a global food crisis.[1]

Russia had initially called for the renewal to be for only 60 days, half the term of the previous renewal period, while Ukraine was insisting on a 120-day renewal.[1] However, on Saturday, a spokeswoman for Russia's foreign ministry told Russian news agency Tass that Moscow had agreed to extend the deal 60 days. Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov later said the extension was for 120 days.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “As a result of our talks with the two sides, we have secured an extension to the deal.”[2]

The Black Sea Grain Initiative is a crucial agreement for global food security, as grain and fertilizer prices and availability have not returned to pre-war levels, causing hardship particularly in developing countries.[3]

Millions of tons of grain have been made available to global markets as a result of the two agreements, leading to improved global food security.[3] During peacetime, Ukraine and Russia provide nearly a third of the world's wheat and a whopping three-quarters of the sunflower oil in the global market.[4]

Speaking in Geneva, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said, “We have made meaningful progress.[5] Impediments remain, however, notably with regard to payment systems.[6] There is more to do and our efforts to overcome these remaining impediments will continue unabated.[5]

0. “Ukraine’s Ex-President on Future Grain Shipments, Military Aid, and China’s Role as Mediator” Voice of America – VOA News, 16 Mar. 2023,

1. “Black Sea grain deal extended, Turkey and Ukraine say” CNA, 18 Mar. 2023,

2. “Russia agrees to extend the Ukraine grain deal again” WBUR News, 18 Mar. 2023,

3. “Note to correspondents on the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian …” OCHA, 13 Mar. 2023,

4. “Ukraine grain export deal extended for 120 days” POLITICO Europe, 18 Mar. 2023,

5. “Ukraine-Russia: Extension of grain export deals vital to global food security” UN News, 17 Mar. 2023,

6. “UN shows openness to shorter renewal of Black Sea grain deal” TradeWinds, 14 Mar. 2023,