Russia says it resumes participation in Ukraine grain deal

  • Turkey says grain trade will resume at midnight on Wednesday
  • Russia claims to have received guarantees from Ukraine

ANKARA/MYKOLAIV, Ukraine, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Russia said on Wednesday it would resume its participation in a deal to free exports of essential grains from war-torn Ukraine, which had threatened to exacerbate hunger. Worldwide.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it had received a written guarantee from Kiev not to use the Black Sea grain corridor for military operations against Russia.

“The Russian Federation considers the guarantees received at the moment to be sufficient and resumes the implementation of the agreement,” the ministry’s statement said.

Russia on Saturday suspended its participation in the agreement, saying it could not guarantee the safety of civilian ships crossing the Black Sea because its fleet had been attacked. Ukraine said it was a false pretext.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had told his Turkish counterpart that the July 22 grain deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations would continue until Wednesday afternoon.

“Grain transportation will continue as agreed before 12 (noon) today,” Erdogan said.

World market prices of wheat, soybeans, corn and rapeseed fell sharply after the announcement, easing concerns about rising food affordability.

Vessels have continued to carry grain on the Ukrainian route despite the suspension, but are unlikely to continue for long because insurers are not issuing new contracts due to Russia’s decision, industry sources told Reuters.

“This is an unexpected change,” Andrey Sizov, head of Russia-focused Sovecon agricultural consultancy, said of Russia’s decision.

“Still, the deal remains shaky, as it is now back in the mode of speculating whether an extension will happen. With two weeks to go before the extension, discussions on the matter will apparently continue,” Sizov added.

The deal expired on November 19 and a European diplomat briefed on the grain talks told Reuters that Russian President Vladimir Putin would use the potential extension to leverage and gain leverage at the G20 summit in Indonesia next month.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi previously said the world must respond firmly to any Russian attempts to disrupt Ukraine’s export corridor across the Black Sea, which has been blocked since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The Russian blockade has exacerbated food shortages in many countries and exacerbated the survival crisis as Ukraine is the world’s largest supplier of grains and oilseeds.

In a video address on Tuesday night, Zelenskiy said ships were still passing through Ukrainian ports with cargo thanks to the work of Turkey and the United Nations.

“But the grain corridor needs a reliable and long-term protection,” said Zelensky.

“Russia should be clearly aware that any step to disrupt our food exports will be met with a strong response from the world,” Zelensky said. “The lives of millions of people here are clearly at stake.”

The grain deal aims to help prevent droughts in poor countries and slow price spikes by injecting more wheat, sunflower oil and fertilizers into world markets. Exports from Ukraine per month targeted pre-war levels of 5 million metric tons.

Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk in Kiev, Ezgi Erkoyun in Ankara and other Reuters bureaus; Writing by Philippa Fletcher; Editing by Angus McSwan

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

Source link

Leave a Comment