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Black Sea grain deal extended for 60 days: Russian official

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The Black Sea grain deal that facilitates Ukrainian agricultural exports has been extended for 60 days, the TASS news agency cited Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, since Russia and Ukraine signed the UN-backed Black Sea Grain Initiative in Turkey on July 22, millions of tonnes of grain and other food products have been exported from Ukrainian ports.

Russia on Monday suggested renewing the deal allowing but only for half the term of the previous renewal while the United Nations pledged to do everything possible to ensure the agreement's integrity remained intact.

"Indeed, the deal has been extended - it has been agreed that it has been extended for 60 days," Grushko told TASS.

RIA news agency also citied Grushko as saying the deal had been extended. According to RIA, Grushko cited another deputy foreign minister, Sergei Vershinin, as saying that the deal had been extended.

Russia has argued that, although the country's agricultural exports have not been explicitly targeted by the West, sanctions on its payments, logistics and insurance industries have created a barrier for it being able to export its own grains and fertilisers.

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