Russia agrees ‘good faith’ extension to key Ukraine agreement

Russia stated it demonstrates "goodwill" in extending grain contract.

According to the state-run TASS news agency, Russia on Tuesday renewed the Black Sea grain agreement, which ensures the safe transit of Ukrainian agricultural exports, for an additional 60 days.

After the two warring parties signed the UN-backed Black Sea Grain Initiative in Turkey on July 22, last year, millions of tonnes of food grains and other food products were transferred from the war-torn Ukraine to other areas of the world.

As the UN promised to use all reasonable efforts to guarantee the pact’s integrity was maintained, Russia had earlier on Monday urged renewing the arrangement.

“Indeed, the deal has been extended. It has been agreed that it has been extended for 60 days,” Grushko was quoted by TASS as saying.

Although the West has not specifically targeted Russia’s agricultural exports, the country has claimed that other economic restrictions have made it more difficult for it to export its own grains and fertilisers.

In what appears to be an acknowledgement of Russia’s extension of the grain deal, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister stated on Monday that Russia’s decision to extend the grain deal for 60 days was in violation of the contract but did not reject Moscow’s proposal.

Oleksandr Kubrakov stated on Twitter that the Russian position to only extend the agreement for 60 days “contradicts the document signed by Turkey and the UN” and that he was “waiting for the official position of the UN and Turkey as the guarantors of the initiative.” 

The agreement calls for an extension of at least 120 days.

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