Ukraine’s grain shipments resume as Russia rejoins the deal

Ukraine’s grain shipments resume as Russia rejoins the deal


Grain exports from Ukraine resumed on Wednesday as Russia said it was rejoining a UN-Turkey-brokered deal to establish a safe Black Sea Corridor.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following a call between Russia’s and Turkey’s defense ministers, told parliament that “as of 12.00 today (09.00 GMT), deliveries will continue as planned.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that it was resuming participation and said it had received “sufficient” guarantees from Kyiv for the demilitarization of the sea corridor.

“Russia believes that the guarantees received are sufficient for the moment and is resuming the implementation of the agreement,” the ministry said.

The deal, which is overseen by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, has allowed more than 9.7 million tons of grain and other food products to leave Ukrainian ports.

This has brought much-needed relief to a global food crisis sparked by Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, a major grain exporter.

Under the terms of the deal agreed in July, ships sailing to and from Ukraine will be inspected by a joint team of Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and UN officials.

Russia on Saturday said it was temporarily withdrawing, accusing Ukraine of abusing the safe shipping corridor to launch a drone attack on its Black Sea fleet.

Some shipments to and from Ukraine continued thereafter, but the UN said on Tuesday there would be no movements on Wednesday.

– “Dangerous” without Russia –

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday urged “reliable and long-term protection” of the corridor, while Russia’s Vladimir Putin called for “real guarantees”.

In a phone call with Zelenskyy on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Russia’s decision to pull out of the deal, saying it was “again damaging global food security”.

Ukraine had dismissed Russia’s accusations as a “false pretext” for withdrawing from the deal.

The Kremlin has long criticized the deal, claiming that most shipments arrive in Europe rather than poor countries where grain is most needed.

Ukrainian officials have denied the claim, and data compiled by a monitoring group as part of the deal does not reflect that claim.

The grain-laden cargo sailed on Monday and Tuesday, but the UN said all ship movements after Russia announced its suspension were “a temporary and exceptional measure”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that it was “dangerous” to continue exports without Russia’s involvement.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday it had received written guarantees from Kyiv “thanks to the participation” of the United Nations and the “support” of Turkey.

Kyiv guaranteed “non-use of the humanitarian corridor and Ukrainian ports intended for conducting military operations against the Russian Federation in the interests of export of agricultural products.”

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