Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov claimed that the Russian offer to extend the grain deal by 60 days contradicts the original agreement. Ukraine has not formally rejected Moscow’s proposal for an extension of the deal ending on March 18.
“The agreement on the Black Sea Grain Initiative provides for an extension of at least 120 days. Russia proposes to extend it for only 60 days, which is contrary to the document signed by Turkey and the UN,” Kubrakov wrote on Twitter.
He emphasized how Ukraine expects the United Nations and Turkey to take “an official position as guarantors of the initiative”.
Earlier on Monday, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said that the Kremlin does not oppose the extension of the grain deal, but would agree for only 60 days. He also made it clear that in return Russia expects the lifting of restrictions imposed on its export of agricultural products.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that “the organization does everything to preserve the integrity and ensure the continuity of the agreement.”
The current agreement, signed in July after extensive negotiations between Russia, the UN, and Turkey, aims to facilitate the export of agricultural products from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. The initiative was expected to ensure the supply of grains, mainly corn, and wheat, to Middle East and African countries.