March 17, 2023 14:59 GMT
Russia And Ukraine Clash On Extension To Black Sea Grain Deal
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Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has insisted that the Black Sea grain deal be extended for the full 120-days as negotiations continue on extending the deal which is due to expire on Saturday, according to Reuters.
- Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov told reporters today: "Russia is renewing the deal for 60 days."
- Reuters reports that both Ukraine and Turkey have stated today that the deal, "must be rolled over in full under the existing terms, including the 120-day duration."
- Alessandra Vellucci, director of the UN Information Service, said negotiations will continue today: "The agreement foresees the renewal of 120 days. There are discussions ongoing and we're not going to speculate on what is going to happen. This is for the discussions’ outcome."
- An extension of the grain deal, which also allows Russian agricultural products and fertiliser to reach markets, is seen as crucial to preventing famine in vulnerable African countries.
- David Beasley, head of the World Food Program (WFP) said today that the grain flows under the deal were still falling well short of the needs of poorer countries.