Ahead of the Black Sea grain agreement expiring this weekend, the United Nations emphasized that the deal states it would be extended for 120 days — even though Russia said it agreed to a 60-day extension of the deal after negotiations in Geneva on Monday, CNN has reported.
"The agreement is public, it’s an open document. It foresees a rollover of 120 days," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
When asked Thursday about the difference in the duration of the extension between Russian and the UN versions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that it may be a display of "UN's incompetence".
Dujarric responded to Zakharova's remark, saying, "I was just stating and reading a line from the agreement, which talks about the fact that the agreement foresees a renewal for 120 days".
The spokesperson stressed that the UN doesn't direct the talks or terms to the deal. The Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey are the parties involved in the agreement, with the UN as a witness, Dujarric said.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters on Wednesday that Ankara hopes to resolve the issue in a positive way "as soon as possible", according to Turkish state media Anadolu.
"We started negotiations with the idea of extending the grain corridor for another 120 days in line with the initial version of the agreement. Our friends with the Russian and Ukrainian sides held talks at the technical level. We also continue our talks at the ministerial level," he said.