U.S. State Department urged Russia to agree to an extension of the grain deal
State Department spokesman Price: U.S. urges Russia to agree to an extension of the grain deal
The U.S. is urging Russia to agree to an extension and eventual expansion of the grain deal, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
“We continue to urge Russia to agree to an extension and eventual expansion of the grain initiative,” he said in a briefing.
According to Price, Washington sees no reason why consent to such a move cannot be obtained.
The grain deal expires March 18. Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara had received Washington’s guarantees on Russian agricultural products’ access to markets and urged the U.S. to make them public.
Last week, Ukrainian Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuriy Vaskov said Kiev wants to extend the agreement for at least another year to include more Ukrainian ports.
The grain deal, which was signed last July by representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations, involves the export of Ukrainian grain, food and fertilizers through the Black Sea from three ports, including Odessa. The Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul is in charge of coordinating the movement of ships.
The contract expired on November 18, but it was supposed to be automatically extended for 120 days until March 18 if no party objected. The Foreign Ministry said that no such objections were received, noting that the Russian side allows for a technical prolongation of the “Black Sea initiative” for the export of Ukrainian grain without any changes in the terms and scope.