Russia Agreed to Extend Grain Deal Only for 60 Days, Moscow Stresses
16:53 GMT 18.03.2023 (Updated: 11:37 GMT 17.07.2023)
© AP PhotoA harvester collects wheat in Semikarakorsky District of Rostov-on-Don region near Semikarakorsk, Southern Russia, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Russia is the world's biggest exporter of wheat, accounting for almost a fifth of global shipments. It is expected to have one of its best ever crop seasons this year. Agriculture is among the most important industries in Russia, accounting for around 4% of its GDP, according to the World Bank. (AP Photo)
© AP Photo
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Russia has agreed to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative for 60 days instead of 120, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik on Saturday, adding that all parties to the grain deal have been notified.
"We see the reports from the parties to the grain deal that the agreement has been extended for 120 days, but we have repeatedly said — both the [Russian] Foreign Ministry and Russia's representatives to the United Nations — that the Russian side has notified all parties to the deal that it extended the deal for 60 days," Zakharova said.
This comes in response to other sides claiming that the deal was prolonged for 120 days - for instance, this is alleged by a statement from United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
"The Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed in Istanbul on 22 July 2022, has been extended ... We remain strongly committed to both agreements and we urge all sides to redouble their efforts to implement them fully," Dujarric said.
In the meantime, Russian media also reported that the prolongation only stipulates a 60-day period, citing documents signed by Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia.
The grain deal signed between Russia, Turkiye, Ukraine, and the United Nations in July 2022 was due to be renewed for 120 days on March 18 unless either of the signatories object. Russia said on Monday it did not mind extending the deal, but only for 60 days, which was confirmed by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday.
The accord provides for the export of Ukrainian grain, food, and fertilizers over the Black Sea from three ports, including Odessa. The package agreement also includes a memorandum of understanding between Russia and the UN to unblock Russian grain and fertilizer exports via the Black Sea.
As much as 25 million tons of grain and other food products have been delivered to 45 nations since July 2022 thanks to the deal, according to Dujarric.