Russia extends grain trade for 60 days, wants to see progress on concerns

Merchant vessels, including vessels that are part of the Black Sea grain trade, wait to transit the Bosphorus off Yenikapi on a foggy morning in Istanbul, Turkey, October 31, 2022. (Umit Bektas/File Photo/Reuters)

MOSCOW—Russia has informed all parties to the Black Sea Grains Agreement that the agreement has been extended for 60 days and reiterated that it will not consider another extension until concerns have been resolved, Russia said on Saturday. .

Earlier, Turkey and the United Nations said the pact had been extended, without specifying how long it would last. A Ukrainian government minister said it would last his 120 days.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted a copy of a letter from Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, saying Moscow would not object to the agreement being extended for 60 days until May 18.

“Only if there are concrete developments can the Russian side consider a further extension (of the agreement) beyond the specified date” on the issue of Russian food and fertilizer exports, he said.

Russia says these exports are not explicitly targeted by the West, but sanctions on the payment, logistics and insurance industries create barriers.