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Guterres arrives in Ukraine with his sights set on extending the grain export agreement

MADRID, 8 Mar.

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Guterres arrives in Ukraine with his sights set on extending the grain export agreement

MADRID, 8 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, arrived this Wednesday morning in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, where he plans to meet with the president, Volodimir Zelenski, to discuss the renewal of the grain export agreement from the country.

"The Secretary General is in Kiev. Later, he will meet with Volodimir Zelensky to discuss the progress of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in all its aspects, as well as other relevant matters," Guterres's spokesman's office said in a message spread via Twitter.

This is the third visit that Guterres has made to the country since Russia launched its military offensive just over a year ago. Once the trip ends on Thursday, he will return to New York.

Ukrainian sources said on Tuesday that negotiations to expand the pact had already begun, albeit not directly with Russia. Ukraine has previously expressed its desire for the agreement to be extended for at least a year to guarantee stability for exporters and importers and achieve the inclusion of the port city of Mikolaiv, in the south of the country.

The agreement reached in July 2022 between Moscow and Kiev to export grain is only in force until March 18, as established in the last extension, but the UN insists that it is necessary to extend it again to guarantee world food security .

The United Nations estimates that it has already allowed the export from three Ukrainian ports of some 23 million tons of goods, with a practically constant flow of entries and exits. The agreement guarantees the safety of the ships regardless of the ongoing fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces.