A cargo ship carrying grain in the Black Sea near Istanbul. (file photo)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia is extending a deal that allows Ukraine to export grain through its Black Sea ports for another 60 days.
Peskov's comments on March 17 come one day before the deal was set to expire. The pact can be extended only with Russia's agreement. Before the Black Sea Grain Initiative was reached in late July 2022, Ukraine -- a critical supplier of grains, oilseeds, and vegetable oils to global markets -- and other countries accused Russia of using hunger as a weapon by blockading Ukraine's Black Sea ports. Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, and the United Nations reached the agreement, which also paved the way for Russian food and fertilizer to reach global markets.
The shipments are monitored by a joint coordination center in Istanbul which includes representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey.