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Russia still to decide on extending Black Sea grain deal

Russia says it has not committed to staying in the Black Sea grain deal, which has freed Ukraine’s grain shipments from a Russian blockade of its Black Sea ports, beyond its current expiry date of November 19, Reuters has reported.

Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that the Kremlin still needed to assess whether the deal was working before deciding whether to extend its participation.

Earlier on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged the UN, which brokered the deal, to step up its efforts to ensure Western countries ease restrictions that Moscow says hinder its own agricultural and fertiliser exports, which also formed part of the deal.