It’s true that quite a lot of grain transactions are commercial transactions, Farhan Haq said
Despite the fact that most transactions under the grain deal are commercial, the fundamental purpose of the deal is humanitarian seeking to maintain lower food prices globally, a deputy spokesperson for the UN secretary-general Farhan Haq told a briefing on Wednesday.
“The fundamental purpose of the Black Sea Initiative is a humanitarian purpose. It’s true that quite a lot of grain transactions are commercial transactions. But those commercial transactions help our humanitarian goal by maintaining a lower level of world food prices overall, and particularly a lower level of crucial grain prices which are fundamental to the economic stability of many nations around the world,” he said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week when asked about the future of the grain deal that the Ukrainian part of the grain deal had been turned into a commercial project, with only around 3% of grain flowing to poorest countries. Moreover, the situation with the part of the package agreement concerning Russian fertilizers and food had not progressed at all, he added.
On July 22, 2022, a package of documents on the supply of food and fertilizers to the international market was signed in Istanbul. Initially, the agreements were concluded for 120 days, in November of last year they were extended for the same period. On March 18, 2023, Russia announced a 60-day extension of the deal, warning that this would be enough time to evaluate the implementation of the memorandum signed with the UN. On May 17, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the grain deal had been extended for two months starting May 18.