A deal allowing Ukraine to export grain from three Black Sea ports has been extended for four months, the United Nations said on November 17.
The UN said there were no changes to the initiative. The Russian side allowed the extension of the agreement "without any change in the deadlines or scope," the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said.
"The Black Sea Grain Initiative is extended for 120 days," Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter.
Kubrakov said in an earlier tweet that Ukraine had requested the grain agreement be extended for one year and include the port of Mykolayiv.
The requests were not granted as the extension was negotiated between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations.
The deal, which had been set to expire on November 19, established a safe shipping corridor in the Black Sea and inspection procedures to address concerns that cargo vessels meant for grain might carry weapons or launch attacks.
It took effect in August, unblocking grain shipments to countries in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. Ukraine and Russia are key global suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil, and other food to those countries, and Russia was the world's top exporter of fertilizer before it launched its ongoing invasion of Ukraine in February.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the 120-day extension a "key decision in the global fight against the food crisis."
Russia confirmed the extension but said it expected progress on removing obstacles to the export of Russian food and fertilizers.
"All these issues must be resolved within 120 days for which the 'package deal' is extended," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "deeply moved" to learn that the parties had come to an agreement on the extension.
The Turkish Defense Ministry said the decision to extend the deal came after two days of talks in Istanbul between delegations from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the UN that were held in a "positive and constructive" atmosphere.Click here to see more...