May 17, 2023 10:58 GMT
Turkish Officials-Parties Nearing Agreement On Grain Deal
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Wires reporting comments from unnamed Turkish officials claiming that the parties involved in the Black Sea Grain Initiative (Russia and Ukraine) are nearing an agreement that would see the Initiative extended beyond 18 May. Turkey and the UN are working as the brokers of the deal, with the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) for the Initiative based in Istanbul.
- Russia has raised the prospect of pulling its participation in the deal - that sees exports of grain and fertiliser from Russian and Ukrainian Black Sea ports coordinated to avoid conflict - due to complaints about the closure of a fertiliser pipeline from Russia to a Ukrainian port.
- The extension of the deal is seen as critical for a number of North African and Middle Eastern nations that rely heavily on cheap Russian and Ukrainian grain, with a risk of shortages, massive spikes in inflation, and even social unrest in these nations if the Initiative fails and shipments dry up.