Russia has agreed to rejoin a UN-backed initiative to allow grain shipments from Ukraine, resuming today.
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said: “Following our discussion with Mr Putin yesterday, the Russian defence minister, Mr Shoigu, called our national defence minister, Mr Hulusi Akar, and informed him that the grain shipments will continue from 12pm today as planned before”.
Erdogan said that the deal will enable the shipment of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. He commented that it would prioritise shipments of grain to African countries, such as Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan. He also said the deal also recognises Russia’s concerns that most of the grain exported since the agreement, first reached in July, was being shipped to wealthier nations.
The news comes after the European Union urged Russia to reverse its decision to withdraw from the deal.
On Saturday, Moscow announced it was suspending participation in response to what it said was a major Ukrainian drone attack on its fleet in Crimea.
Vladimir Putin on the country’s decision to withdraw at the time stated: “We are not saying that we are terminating our participation in this operation, we are saying that we are suspending”.
Putin continued: “Ukraine must ensure that there will be no threats to civilian courts and to Russian support vessels. This underwater vehicle is six metres long… If it gets there, there will be nothing left of the grain or the ship.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023
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