Russia says Black Sea grain deal extended for 60 days
The landmark deal that facilitates Ukrainian agricultural exports through the Black Sea has been extended for 60 days, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Tuesday, News.Az reports citing TASS.
"Indeed, the deal has been extended – it has been agreed that it has been extended for 60 days," Grushko said.
The Black Sea grain initiative, brokered between Russia and Ukraine by the United Nations and Türkiye last July, aimed to prevent a global food crisis by allowing Ukrainian grain blockaded by Russia's invasion to be safely exported from three Ukrainian ports.
Russia on Monday suggested renewing the deal but only for half of the 120-day term of the previous renewal, while the United Nations pledged to do everything possible to ensure the agreement's integrity remained intact.
Russia has argued that, although the country's agricultural exports have not been explicitly targeted by the West, sanctions on its payments, logistics and insurance industries have created a barrier to it being able to export its own grains and fertilisers.
Grushko said Russia was counting on the lifting of restrictions on its fertilizers under the pact.