UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -The United Nations on Friday urged parties to a U.N.-brokered deal that allowed a resumption of Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports to renew the pact beyond mid-November, saying it was needed to contribute to global food security.
It also called for the full implementation of a related agreement to ensure grain and fertilizer from Russia also reaches global markets.
“We underline the urgency of doing so to contribute to food security across the world, and to cushion the suffering that this global cost-of-living crisis is inflicting on billions of people,” U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
Under the July 22 agreement, Ukraine was able to restart its Black Sea grain and fertilizer exports, which had stalled when Russia invaded its neighbor on Feb. 24. The Ukraine export deal was initially agreed for 120 days.
The United Nations is working to extend the deal for up to a year and smooth the joint inspections of ships by U.N., Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials. The United Nations recently warned there was a backlog of more than 150 ships.
Russia has criticized the deal, complaining that its own exports were still hindered and not enough Ukraine grain was reaching countries in need. Moscow could object to extending the pact on Ukraine’s exports beyond November.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; writing by Tim Ahmann; editing by Rami Ayyub and Cynthia Osterman)