UN chief to meet leaders for possible Black Sea Grain deal revival

September 14, 2023, 7:00 pm

UNITED NATIONS – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said he will meet with Turkish, Ukrainian and Russian leaders next week at the annual UN meeting in an effort to revive the Black Sea Grain deal.

''I am determined to do everything possible to re-establish the Black Sea Grain Initiative,'' he told reporters.

Guterres, however, did not say exactly when he would meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Russia suspended the grain deal last July after citing that parts related to its demands have "not been implemented so far," referring to the removal of obstacles to fertilizer exports and the inclusion of state-owned Russian Agricultural Bank in the SWIFT international payment system.

The agreement was signed in Istanbul in July 2022 by Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye and the UN, creating a safe corridor through the Black Sea for exports from three Ukrainian ports since the war began in February of that year. 

It helped rein in spiraling prices and ease a global food crisis by restoring the flow of wheat, sunflower oil, fertilizer, and other products from Ukraine -- one of the world’s largest grain exporters.

Zelenskyy will attend the global gathering of world leaders for the first time in person. (Anadolu)