A Turkey-United Nations brokered deal to allow for Ukraine grain exportation was extended by 120 days, the U.N. announced Thursday.
The deal, which was signed in July — automatically extended — with the extension beginning on Saturday, which is when the original deal was set to expire, according to a U.N. news release.
Secretary-General António Guterres praised the extension on Twitter.
“I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine,” he tweeted. “The initiative demonstrates the importance of discreet diplomacy in finding multilateral solutions.”
The July deal allowed merchant ships to collect grain from three Ukrainian ports. On Thursday, three merchant vessels left Ukrainian ports in Odesa and Chornomorsk with 98,840 metric tons, of grain and foodstuffs, according to the U.N. release.
Since the deal was signed, 11,186,228 metric tonnes of foodstuffs have been exported from Ukraine, according to the U.N. Black Sea Grain Initiative.
The grain deal was threatened in late October after Russia temporarily suspended its participation after an attack on Sevastopol. It resumed participation days later, USNI News previously reported.
Ukraine and the U.N. sought to extend the deal by one year, Reuters reported. While Russia agreed to the extension, it has repeatedly said it has not gotten everything it wanted out of the deal, including the ability to export fertilizer.