Minister: Russian-Ukrainian grain deal extended for another 120 days

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Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced on March 18 that the grain deal, which has enabled Ukraine to export millions of tonnes of agricultural products via the Black Sea, has been extended for another 120 days.

The UN and Turkey-brokered deal, signed in July, has been paramount in subduing soaring food prices worldwide. Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat, sunflower oil, and other food products worldwide. According to the UN, food prices fell by 17.9 percent in February from an all-time high in March 2022.

While Moscow has said over the past week that it does not object to the renewal of the grain deal, there had been uncertainty over whether the deal would be extended for 120 days, as the previous extensions. Moscow had called for a 60-day term, which was swiftly rejected by Kyiv.

"Ukraine is one of the key links of global food security, so we insist that the grain deal be open-ended and automatically extended for 120 days," Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said at a government meeting on March 17, a day before the grain deal was renewed by both sides.

Since the landmark grain deal kicked off in August 2022, over 800 ships carrying more than 23 million tonnes of grain and food commodities have left three Black Sea ports in the southern Odesa Oblast, BBC reported on March 16, citing the UN's Joint Coordination Centre (JCC)'s data.