Russia Extends Black Sea Grain Deal for 60 Days as Ukraine and Turkey Call for Full Renewal
The Kremlin on Friday said Russia was extending the Black Sea grain deal for 60 days, echoing previous statements by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The deal to unblock Ukrainian grain exports from the Black Sea after Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine was brokered last year by Turkey, with the United Nations acting as an observer. The deal is automatically extended every 120 days if none of the parties registers an objection.
Both Ukraine and Turkey have said the deal, which is due to expire on Saturday, must be rolled over in full under the existing terms, including the 120-day duration.
But on a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov answered a question about Moscow's position by saying merely: "Russia is renewing the deal for 60 days."
Alessandra Vellucci, director of the U.N. Information Service, said negotiations on an extension were continuing.
"The agreement foresees the renewal of 120 days," she said. "There are discussions ongoing and we're not going to speculate on what is going to happen. This is for the discussions’ outcome."
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)