Ukraine grain shipments resume as Russia rejoins UN-Turkey-brokered deal

REUTERS - UMIT BEKTAS

Maritime grain exports from Ukraine resumed on Wednesday as Russia said it was rejoining an agreement brokered by the UN and Turkey to establish a safe Black Sea corridor for grain vessels.

Last Saturday Moscow withdrew from the scheme, accusing Ukraine of using the corridor to launch a drone attack on Russia's Black Sea fleet.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told parliament that grain shipments would resume as planned, after a call between the Russian and Turkish defence ministers.

The defence ministry in Moscow confirmed that it was resuming participation, saying it had received sufficient guarantees from Kyiv on demilitarising the maritime corridor.

"Russia considers that the guarantees are sufficient and is resuming the implementation of the agreement," the ministry said.

The deal, which is overseen by the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, has allowed more than 9.7 million metric tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs to leave Ukrainian ports.

Under the terms of the deal, which was originally agreed in July, ships moving to and from Ukraine are inspected by a joint team of Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and UN officials.

Macron denounces Russia

In a call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron denounced Russia's decision to exit the deal saying it again harms global food security.

Ukraine had dismissed Russia's accusations as a false pretext to withdraw from the deal.

Ukrainian officials have denied the claim.

No military operations


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