Deputy minister: Moscow agrees to extend grain deal for 60 days

Deputy minister: Moscow agrees to extend grain deal for 60 days

Russia has agreed to renew the Ukraine grain export deal but only for another 60 days, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin announced following talks with the United Nations Monday, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.

“The Russian side… does not object to another extension of the ‘Black Sea Initiative’ after its second term expiration on March 18, but only for 60 days,” he said in a statement issued by the Russian mission in Geneva following the negotiations at the U.N.’s Palais des Nations.

“Our further stance will be determined upon the tangible progress on normalization of our agricultural exports, not in words, but in deeds,” Vershinin said. “It includes bank payments, transport logistics, insurance, ‘unfreezing’ of financial activities and ammonia supplies via the ‘Tolyatti-Odessa’ pipeline.”

Kyiv says Russia extending grain deal for 60 days ‘contradicts’ deal

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said that Russia’s decision to extend the grain deal for 60 days went against the agreement, but did not reject Moscow’s proposal.

“(The grain) agreement involves at least 120 days of extension, therefore Russia’s position to extend the deal only for 60 days contradicts the document signed by Turkey and the U.N.,” Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter, adding: “We’re waiting for the official position of the U.N. and Turkey as the guarantors of the initiative.”

Black Sea grain deal talks at ‘critical moment’: U.S. State Dept

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said it was a “critical moment” in negotiations on the U.N.-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, which Washington hopes will be extended before it expires on March 18.

Price said the world needs the initiative, which he said allowed grain shipments to developing countries and helped bring down food prices.

“This is a critical instrument at a critical time,” Price said.

The United Nations and Russian officials on Monday began negotiations on the possible extension of the deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year saw Ukraine’s Black Sea ports blocked by warships until a pact signed in July allowed for the safe passage of exports of critical grain supplies.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered by Türkiye and the U.N., aimed to prevent a global food crisis by allowing Ukrainian grain to be safely exported from three ports.

The deal was extended for 120 days in November and will renew on March 18 if no party objects.