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Hi, this is Pip. As talks to extend the Black Sea grain deal between Russia and Ukraine continue in Geneva this week, we hear from a source close to the matter about what’s at stake.

We’re also taking a closer look at diversity within the UN’s leading climate change body. In other news, the World Food Programme has warned that hunger is spiking in Syria after 12 years of war.

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Pip Cook


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Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin, left, after a meeting with UN officials for talks on the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Geneva. (Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi)

What’s at stake in Black Sea grain talks in Geneva? Talks are being held in Geneva this week to extend the UN-backed Black Sea grain deal, which is due to expire on 18 March. Since it was reached in July 2022, the agreement has allowed grain exports from Ukraine which had been obstructed by war to resume, with nearly 18 million tonnes of grain leaving the country’s ports as of January. But negotiations are just beginning as Russia seeks to secure its financial interests and Ukraine asks for an exchange of prisoners. Once again, the food security of a part of the world hangs in the balance.

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