UPDATE 1-UN aid chief 'reasonably confident' on extension of Ukraine deal
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GENEVA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths voiced confidence on Monday that a U.N.-brokered deal allowing Ukrainian Black Sea grains exports could be extended and even expanded despite apparent revenge strikes by Russia on Kyiv.
The July deal has allowed more than 6 million tonnes of grains and other foods to be exported and could expire next month. Griffiths and U.N. trade official Rebeca Grynspan are set to travel to Moscow this month to discuss the deal with Russian officials.
"Our view at the UN is we of course should seek its renewal, and I'm reasonably confident that we will see it (renewed) but also that it needs to go beyond a four-month cycle. We need to see it renewed for a year," Griffiths said in a Geneva press briefing in response to a question about the impact of the latest escalation in a war which has lasted more than seven months.
Griffiths added that U.N. officials were working "deeply and intensely" to extend and expand it, to possibly include more fertiliser and additional capacity.
The July deal included ammonia, a key ingredient in nitrate fertiliser. A pipeline transporting ammonia from Russia's Volga region to Ukraine's Black Sea port of Pivdennyi (Yuzhny) was shut down when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 and officials are trying to broker a resumption.
"Getting ammonia out to the world is of the highest priority," he said, adding that farmers needed to know soon about availability in time for next year's harvest. (Reporting by Emma Farge, Editing by Miranda Murray and Ed Osmond)
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