MOSCOW - Russia plans to harvest on average around 130 million tonnes of grain a year and export up to 55 million tonnes, Russian First Deputy Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut said.

She added that Moscow had managed to increase its grain exports despite some countries rejecting Russian grain because of the conflict in Ukraine, which Russia calls its "special military operation".

"Despite the decrease in the number of buying countries, we have increased our sales volumes... We are not chasing the number of countries, we are chasing good partnerships," Lut said on the sidelines of an industrial forum on Friday.

Russia is currently shipping around 80% of its grain to the Middle East and North Africa, with Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Algeria comprising the top five buyers, according to Eduard Zernin, the head of Russia's grain exporters union.

Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said earlier this week that the grain harvest would be at least 123 million tonnes in 2023 while grain exports would total around 50-55 million tonnes in the 2023-2024 season.

The Black Sea grain deal allowing for the safe passage of Ukrainian farm produce was extended for two more months this week. However, Moscow says it wants to see more progress on implementing parts of the package affecting Russia, including readmitting its agricultural bank to the international payment system SWIFT and restarting an ammonia pipeline between Russia and Ukraine.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)