Türkiye’s role in extension of Ukraine grain deal hailed

November 27, 2022, 12:14 pm

ANKARA – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) secretary general on Saturday welcomed the support of Türkiye, together with the United Nations, to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Speaking at the Grain from Ukraine Summit organized with the initiative of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Jens Stoltenberg said he saw the grain ships on the Istanbul Strait when he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“They are getting food, grain, and fertilizers out of Ukrainian ports for the vulnerable people who urgently need it,” he added.

Stoltenberg also “strongly” hailed the efforts of NATO allies and the European Union (EU) to get supplies moving out of Ukraine over land.

Last week, days before its scheduled expiration, the landmark grain deal signed in Istanbul in July by Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine was extended for another 120 days, beginning Nov. 19.

On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which had been paused in February due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Stoltenberg also touched upon the “horrendous” Holodomor tragedy which killed millions of Ukrainians 90 years ago.

“Today, Russia is using hunger as a weapon of war against Ukraine. And to create division and further instability among the rest of the world,” Stoltenberg said.

The Holodomor is considered one of the most painful events in the history of Ukraine.

At least 3.9 million people starved to death between 1932 and 1933 as a result of Joseph Stalin's policies and "collectivization" of agriculture, according to the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory.

The Soviet Union implemented the collectivization of its agricultural sector between 1928 and 1940 to integrate individual landholdings and labor into collectively controlled and state-controlled farms. It affected a significant part of the west and south of the Soviet Union.

Estimates conclude that 5.7 to 8.7 million people died of famine across the USSR.

Ukraine claims that the famine in its territory was "intentional" and has called it a "genocide of the Ukrainian people." (Anadolu)