United Nations Secretary-General hopeful Russia to extend grain deal

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced hope on Monday that Russia would extend an expiring deal that gives safe passage to Ukrainian grain shipments, saying the arrangement was crucial for food security.

Addressing reporters in Bali ahead of a G20 summit, the UN chief, said, talks over the last week had delivered a lot of progress on the deal that is set to end on Saturday. Mr Guterres said, he is hopeful that the Black Sea grain initiative will be renewed. He said urgent action is needed to prevent famine and hunger in a growing number of places around the world.

Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain producers, but its conflict with Russia had blocked 20 million tonnes of grain in its ports until the United Nations and Turkey brokered the deal in July.

Russia has said it had yet to decide whether to extend the grain deal beyond 19th November, the original date in the agreement.

The G7 bloc of industrial democracies has urged a renewal.

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