Russia and the United Nations have agreed to a 60-day extension of the Ukraine grain deal after negotiations in Geneva, Russian state-run news agency RIA reported on Monday.
“Our Russian interdepartmental delegation has just completed another round of talks with UN representatives led by UNCTAD Secretary General R. Greenspan and OCHA head M. Griffiths,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said at a briefing on Monday, according to RIA.
The diplomat added Moscow had agreed to extend the current grain deal, which lasts until March 18, for an additional 60 days.
Any further grain policy after the 60-day period would depend on “normalization” of agricultural exports, he said.
Why are grain exports so important? Ukraine and Russia are both significant suppliers of food to the world. Before the war, Ukraine — known as one of the globe’s breadbaskets — would export around three-quarters of the grain it produces. According to data from the European Commission, about 90% of these exports were shipped by sea, from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. The war and its impact on grain exports therefore has major implications, particularly in the global South which relies heavily on them.
CNN’s Rob Picheta, Jomana Karadsheh, Radina Gigova and Tim Lister contributed to this post.