According to the UN, talks on the grain agreement are continuing, Russia is talking about a 60-day extension

According to the UN, talks on the grain agreement are continuing, Russia is talking about a 60-day extension

Grain deal talks continue according to UN, Russia talks 60-day extension ;

A grain warehouse in Ukraine, pictured on August 9, 2022.

Kyiv – Negotiations continue in Geneva today to extend a grain agreement allowing the export of agricultural products from Ukraine, which is facing Russian aggression, the United Nations and Turkey said. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko previously said, according to the TASS agency, that the agreement allowing the export of Ukrainian agricultural products was extended by 60 days. An unnamed senior Ukrainian government official subsequently told Reuters that Kyiv would insist on a 120-day extension.

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The agreement was extended for 120 days in November and will expire on Saturday. If Russia or Ukraine do not object, the validity will be extended automatically. However, Russia has been expressing dissatisfaction with the arrangement for a long time and is demanding more support for the export of its food and fertilizers. Representatives of Moscow already talked about the 60-day extension after Monday's meeting.

“We really extended the agreement – by 60 days,” TASS quoted Gruška as saying. UN officials have not commented, and according to Reuters it is not clear how it could be extended by only half the time.

“We will strictly abide by the agreement,” a Ukrainian official, who did not want to be named, said afterward. The terms, according to Kyiv, clearly state that the agreement can be extended by at least 120 days. If one of the parties is interested in shortening this period, an adjustment will need to be negotiated.

“The UN will do everything to preserve the integrity of the agreement and ensure its continuation. Consultations with all parties continue at all levels,” said a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), whose head is leading the negotiations, according to the AFP news agency.

The agreement concluded last August allowed the resumption of exports of grain and other agricultural crops from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea coast, which had blocked Russia after the start of its invasion of Ukraine.