Foreign minister of Türkiye, Hakan Fidan, discussed the Black Sea Grain Deal with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, diplomatic sources in Ankara said, according to Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency.

Fidan and Lavrov spoke by phone on Sunday to evaluate the latest developments on the deal, as Russian officials have said that they could block the extension of the grain deal this month, complaining that parts allowing Russian exports have gone unfulfilled.

The two foreign ministers hold phone call to evaluate the latest developments on those two issues, according to the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media, as the news agency reports.

It is worth mentioning that the Black Sea Grain Initiative agreement has been extended until July.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative was launched in Istanbul by the Russian Federation, Türkiye, Ukraine and United Nations on 22 July 2022. Through this initiative, a mechanism was established for the safe exports of grain, related foodstuffs and fertilizer, including ammonia, from designated Ukrainian ports to global markets.

As the Black Sea Grain Initiative’s expiration date nears, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is cautioning of catastrophic ripple effects for the world’s most food insecure should a deal not be reached.

The initiative, lasting nearly one year and two renewals later, has stabilised global food prices and delivered 625,000 tonnes (via World Food Program vessels) to countries at risk of famine, such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Yemen. The International Rescue Committee is calling for a long term renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative to maintain this lifeline for the 79 countries and 349 million people on the frontlines of food insecurity.