The Black Sea grain deal, a pivotal agreement in the global food supply chain, hangs in the balance as Russian President Vladimir Putin remains silent on its possible extension. The deal, set to expire on Monday, has been a lifeline for international markets, ensuring the steady movement of grain from Russia and Ukraine. Amidst this uncertainty, Putin engaged in a phone call with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday, discussing the need for a permanent and sustainable solution for grain export.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged Putin to extend the Black Sea deal, offering to connect Rosselkhozbank, a subsidiary of Russia’s Agricultural Bank, to the SWIFT international payment system. However, the U.N. spokesperson revealed on Friday that Guterres has yet to receive a response from Putin.
The Black Sea grain deal has been a hot topic of discussion among global leaders. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also called on Russia to extend the deal, warning of the dire consequences for developing countries if Moscow withdraws. Blinken highlighted the potential for higher food prices and increased food scarcity, particularly in the region, if the deal falls through.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly agreed with Putin on the need to extend the deal. However, there has been some confusion over Erdogan’s comments, with Reuters reporting that his statements were misconstrued as suggesting an extension deal had been reached when there is no confirmation that it has.
Russia has stated that it would agree to extend the deal only if its conditions regarding its implementation are met. As the world watches and waits, the future of the Black Sea grain deal remains uncertain, with potential ramifications for global food security.
In other news, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday, expressing support for war-torn Ukraine. Yoon announced that Seoul will increase aid to Ukraine to $150 million in 2023, following a $100 million aid package in 2022. He also stated that South Korea will cooperate with Kyiv on infrastructure projects in Ukraine.
During a news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Yoon revealed plans to provide “a larger scale of military supplies” to Ukraine this year. Zelenskyy thanked the South Korean president for his country’s “powerful” support.
Meta Keywords: Black Sea grain deal, Russia, Ukraine, Putin, Ramaphosa, Guterres, Blinken, Erdogan, food security, grain export, SWIFT, Rosselkhozbank, South Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, Zelenskyy, aid to Ukraine
Meta Description: The future of the Black Sea grain deal remains uncertain as Russian President Putin stays silent on its extension. The deal’s expiration could have significant implications for global food security.