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Agriculture minister urges extending Ukraine grain exports deal

Istvan Nagy, Hungary's minister of agriculture met his Turkish counterpart Ibrahim Yumakli in Ankara, and urged that the agreement concerning Ukraine's grain exports by sea should be "extended and rolled out" to ensure that Ukrainian grain "could again reach southern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East through traditional routes," the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

Nagy pointed to market difficulties and challenges for farmers due to an “influx” of Ukrainian grain shipped through the European Union’s “Solidarity Corridor”. He said the Hungarian government continued to support that idea, but warned that “the corridor has not met expectations and proved insufficient to replace Black Sea shipping”. The difficulties will only be removed if grain from Ukraine will again be shipped through the traditional routes, he insisted.

Nagy pointed to a “historic resonsibility” and said extending the agreement and releasing more Ukrainian ports than the current three from the blocade would “both serve protection of the European countries affected and meeting the demands of needy developing countries”. Or else, he warned, Europe’s grain markets could be paralysed and uncertainties of food supplies could force more and more people to leave their homeland “resulting in increased migratory pressure and greater tension”.

The minister also invited his Turkish counterpart for further talks in Hungary.

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