Monday, 28 November, 2022

UN chief alters travel plan in a bid to save Ukraine grain deal

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has decided to delay his departure for the Arab League (AL) summit in Algiers by a day.

The UN chief has decided to alter his travel plans to focus his efforts on saving the Black Sea Grain Initiative, said his spokesman on Sunday.

Russia on Saturday announced the suspension of its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative following an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

The initial duration of the agreement is 120 days and expires on November 19. The parties had agreed that the deal could be extended automatically on the condition that no party objects.

"The secretary-general is deeply concerned about the ongoing situation regarding the Black Sea Grain Initiative," said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement.

Guterres continues to engage in intense contact to end the Russian suspension of its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The same engagement is also aimed at the renewal and full implementation of the initiative to facilitate exports of food and fertilizer from Ukraine and the removal of the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertilizer, said the statement.

Guterres was initially scheduled to leave on Monday for the AL summit.