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Russia says it will not extend the landmark Ukraine grain deal

Bulk carriers are docked at the grain terminal of the port of Odessa, Ukraine, on April 10, 2023.

Bo Amstrup | Afp | Getty Images

Russia on Monday said it has suspended a humanitarian corridor to deliver key Ukrainian grains to global markets, hours before the agreement’s expiry.

First inked in July 2022, the U.N.-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative has been repeatedly elongated in short increments, amid increasing discontent from Russia over perceived restrictions that limit the full dispatch of its own grain and fertilizer exports. The initiative was set up to abate a global food crisis, after Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of fellow key grain exporter and neighbor Ukraine.

It was set to lapse on Monday at midnight, Istanbul time.

“In fact, the Black Sea agreements ceased to be valid today. As the President of the Russian Federation said earlier, the deadline is July 17. Unfortunately, the part relating to Russia in this Black Sea agreement has not been implemented so far. Therefore, its effect is terminated,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, in Google-translated comments reported by Russian state news agency Tass on Monday.

The pact allowed the export of commercial food and fertilizer supplies, including ammonia, from three Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea – Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi, previously known as Yuzhny. Cargo ships proceed through the agreed humanitarian corridor to Istanbul, one of the busiest ports of Turkey, whose administration under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been deeply immersed in the negotiations.

This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more.

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