The announcement was made in a Note to correspondentsreleased by the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson’s office on Saturday, which stressed that the initiative enables “facilitation of safe navigation for the export of grain and related foodstuffs and fertilizers, including ammonia, from designated Ukrainian ports.”

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 came about 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 ability to export was significantly limited when hostilities began.

Since the signing of the initiative in July 2022, about 25 million tons of grain and food have been moved to 45 countries, and the initiative has been credited with helping to calm global food prices, which reached staggering peaks in March 2022. implementation of the initiative, prices began to fall and had a year later dropped by around 18 percent.

The deal was brokered by the United Nations and the government of Turkey, which was thanked in the statement for its diplomatic and operational support: as part of the agreement, a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) was established in Istanbul to oversee the implementation of the initiative.

The Note to Correspondents reaffirmed the UN’s strong commitment to both agreements, describing the Black Sea Grain Initiative, along with the Memorandum of Understanding on Marketing Russian Food Products and Fertilizers on World Markets, as “critical to global food security, especially for developing countries.”