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Ukraine grain export deal extended for 120 days

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A deal allowing Ukrainian grain exports to pass through the blockaded Black Sea has been extended for 120 days, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced Saturday.

Kubrakov thanked “all our partners for sticking to the agreements,” said in a tweet Saturday afternoon.

The announcement comes after a week of wrangling following Moscow’s announcement Monday that it had agreed to extend the Black Sea grain initiative but only for 60 days — which drew immediate objections from Kyiv and reminders from the United Nations and Turkey that the original agreement foresees a minimum 120-day extension.

The deal — described by aid groups as a lifeline for food insecure countries — was due to expire on Saturday.

Initially brokered by the U.N. and Turkey last July after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 fueled a global food crisis, the pact was extended in November for 120 days.

Some 24 million tons of Ukrainian produce have been transported under the initiative so far, amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s all-out war on Ukraine.

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