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Black Sea Grain Initiative prolonged by 60 days until May 18 – Russia’s office in Geneva

The mission stressed that "any rumors about 120 days spread by the Ukrainian side are either incompetence or deliberate disinformation"

GENEVA, March 18. /TASS/. The Russian side has agreed to extend the agreement on the export of grain from Ukraine via the Black Sea for only 60 days, not 120. Any rumors about 120 days being spread by Kiev are either a manifestation of incompetence or a deliberate falsehood, Russia’s permanent mission in Geneva said on Saturday.

"The Russian side agreed to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative by just 60 days (instead of 120), until May 18, 2023, for the sake of progress on the Russia-UN memorandum on the promotion of Russian food and fertilizers to world markets," reads a post uploaded to the mission’s Twitter page.

The Russian mission stressed that any rumors about a 120-day prolongation being spread by the Ukrainian side were either a sign of incompetence or a deliberate falsehood.

Earlier on Saturday, the Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Alexandr Kubrakov alleged that the grain deal had been extended for 120 days.

Agreements on food exports from Ukraine were concluded in Istanbul on July 22 last year for 120 days. In November, they were prolonged for the same period. One of the agreements regulates the export of grain from the Kiev-controlled ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. A memorandum signed between Russia and the UN implies the obligations of the world organization to lift restrictions on the export of Russian fertilizers and farm produce to world markets. The Russian side indicates that the second part of the agreement has not being implemented to this day.

Consultations were held in Geneva on Monday between the UN, as represented by the head of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Rebecca Grynspan and Deputy Secretary-General Martin Griffiths and Russia’s panel of negotiators under Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, who told the media after the meeting that Moscow was not against extending the deal after March 18, but not for 120 days, as it was the case in November 2022, but only for 60 days. Vershinin said this period would be enough for an objective assessment of UN promises to unblock the export of Russia’s agricultural products.