The announcement was made in a note to correspondents, published Saturday by the office of the spokesman for the General secretary of the UN, in which it was highlighted that the Initiative allows “facilitating safe navigation for exports of grain and related food products and fertilizers, including ammonia, from designated Ukrainian seaports”.
Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in February 2022, the Initiative has been one of the few areas where the Russian and Ukrainian governments have been able to reach an agreement. It arose in response to the sharp increase in food and fertilizer prices around the world: Russia and Ukraine are the main suppliers of these products to world markets, and their export capacity was considerably reduced once the hostilities began.
Since the Initiative was signed in July 2022, some 25 million metric tons of grain and food products have been moved to 45 countries, and the Initiative has been credited with helping to calm global food prices, which reached dizzying highs in March 2022. Following the launch of the Initiative, prices began to decline and, a year later, they had fallen by around 18%.
The agreement was mediated by the UN and the Government of Turkey, which is thanked in the statement for its diplomatic and operational support: as part of the agreement, a Joint Coordination Center was established in Istanbul to oversee the implementation of the Initiative.
The Note to Correspondents reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to both agreements, describing the Black Sea Grain Initiative, along with the Memorandum of Understanding on the promotion of Russian food products and fertilizers on world markets, as “fundamental to the world food security, especially for developing countries”.