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Black Sea grain deal extended, Turkey and Ukraine say

file photo: commercial vessels including vessels which are part of black sea grain deal wait to pass the bosphorus strait off the shores of yenikapi in istanbul
Commercial vessels including vessels which are part of Black Sea grain deal wait to pass the Bosphorus strait off the shores of Yenikapi

A deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports that was due to expire on Saturday has been renewed, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said, while a Ukrainian government minister said the extension had been agreed for 120 days.

“The deal for the grain corridor was due to expire today. As a result of our talks with the two sides, we have secured an extension to this deal,” Erdogan said in a speech in the western city of Canakkale, without specifying the length of the agreed extension.

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the deal had been extended for 120 days.

The pact was brokered with Russia and Ukraine by the United Nations and Turkey in July – and renewed for a further 120 days in November – to combat a global food crisis that was fueled in part by Russia’s Feb. 24, 2022, invasion of Ukraine and Black Sea blockade.

Russia has previously called for renewing the deal for only 60 days, half the term of the previous renewal period, while Ukraine was insisting on a 120-day renewal.

“(The Black Sea Grain Initiative) agreement is extended for 120 days,” Kubrakov wrote on Twitter.

“Grateful to (UN General Secretary Antonio) Guterres, (the) UN, President Erdoğan, Minister Hulusi Akar & all our partners for sticking to the agreements,” he added.

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