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Zelenskyy and Guterres called for the prolongation of the Grain Deal: When will it start?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres called for the prolongation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative after March 18, INTERFAX-UKRAINE reported.

Quote"The prolongation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative after March 18 is critical for the whole world," said Zelenskyy at a briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday after meeting with the UN Secretary-General.
Quote"I want to underscore the critical importance of the rollover of the Black Sea Grain Initiative on March 18," said Guterres for his part.

The president of Ukraine also voiced his support for the prolongation of the Grain from Ukraine humanitarian initiative.

Quote"As part of this initiative, we’ve managed to raise over $200 million and ship 140,000 tons of Ukrainian grain to Europe, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. I’m certain that we will be able to significantly enhance the initiative. This will ensure even more guarantees for global food security."

Guterres pointed out that the Black Sea Grain Initiative has provided for the export of 23 million tons of grain.

Quote"It contributed to lowering the global cost of food. The FAO Food Price Index has fallen by almost 20%. Exports of Ukrainian, as well as Russian food and fertilizers are essential to global food security," he said.

Zelenskyy thanked Guterres for "clearly condemning the Russian aggression."

Among other issues that were discussed during the meeting were the security of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and the creation of a Special Tribunal on Russia.

For his part, Guterres reiterated the position of the UN on the Russian aggression:

Quote"The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be upheld within its internationally recognized borders. Until just peace can be secured, we continue working hard to mitigate the impact of the conflict, which has caused enormous suffering for the Ukrainian people."

Earlier, we reported that Ukrainian food exports in 2022 totaled $23.6 billion. Despite being 15% less than the record-high $27.9 billion in 2021, last year’s figure was the second highest since Ukraine’s independence.

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