The Black Sea Grain Initiative was extended on March 18, the day it was due to expire. Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in February 2022, the Initiative has been one of the few areas in which the Russian and Ukrainian governments have been able to reach an agreement. It came about in response to the sharp increase in prices for food and fertilizers around the world.
Since the signing of the Initiative in July 2022, some 25 million metric tons of grains and foodstuffs have been moved to 45 countries, and the initiative has been credited with helping to calm global food prices, which reached vertiginous highs in March 2022. Following the implementation of the Initiative, prices began to fall and, a year later, had dropped some 18%, UN News reports.
The announcement was made in a Note to Correspondents issued on Saturday, which emphasized that the Initiative allows for the “facilitation of the safe navigation for the exports of grain and related foodstuffs and fertilizers, including ammonia, from designated Ukrainian seaports.”
The same document described the Black Sea Grain Initiative, alongside the Memorandum of Understanding on promoting Russian food products and fertilizers to the world markets, as “critical for global food security, especially for developing countries.”
Photo: First grain shipment leaves Ukraine. Credit: Embassy of Ukraine in Lebanon, Twitter: @UKRinLBN