Russia's Lavrov meets UN Secretary General at G20

Nov 15 (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had a "very frank and open discussion" on the Black Sea grain deal with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, the United Nations said.

"They had a lengthy meeting and they went through all the aspects related to the process of facilitation of Russian exports - food and fertilizers - and the Black Sea Grain Initiative," deputy U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq said.

"It was a very frank and open discussion."

The meeting comes just days before the landmark Black Sea grain deal is set to expire. The initiative, struck in July, unlocked agricultural exports from Ukraine's southern ports and helped push down global food prices.

But Moscow has not yet said whether it will extend its participation in the U.N.-backed deal, which is due to expire on Saturday. The accord has helped stave off a global food crisis by allowing the export of food and fertilisers from several of Ukraine's Black Sea ports.

Russia has been demanding unhindered access to world markets for its own food and fertiliser exports in return for agreeing to a rollover of the Black Sea deal. Moscow has indicated it could quit the deal if progress is not made on its concerns.

Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter and a major supplier of fertilisers to global markets.

Ukraine's main export route, through its Black Sea ports, was blocked between late February, when Moscow sent armed forces into its neighbour's territory, and July, when the U.N.-brokered deal was signed.

Since then, Moscow has repeatedly said that its shipments of grain and fertilisers, though not directly targeted by Western sanctions, are constrained because the sanctions make it harder for exporters to process payments or to obtain vessels and insurance.

Reporting by Jake Cordell and Daphne Psaledakis; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Jonathan Oatis

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