Russian Defence Ministry announces resumption of grain deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Russian Defence Ministry announced that the grain corridor would resume operation as of 12:00 PM Moscow time.

The Russian ministry also said that Russia would reverse its decision to quit the deal. The agency added that Ukraine had provided written guarantees that it would not use the grain corridor to carry out attacks against Russia.

“In particular, the Ukrainian side officially assured us that the ‘naval humanitarian corridor will only be used in accordance with the Black Sea [Grain] Initiative provisions and the Joint Coordination Centre provision linked to it’,” the agency noted.

Russian and Turkish defence chiefs Sergei Shoigu and Hulusi Akar discussed the unfolding grain deal crisis over the phone on 1 November. Earlier, the Turkish leader had phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin where Erdogan told his counterpart that an “atmosphere of trust” should be established to address the grain export situation.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister, earlier announced via Twitter that the grain shipping corridor is expected to resume operation on 3 November. According to him, ships will undergo an inspection in the Bosphorus.

Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN signed an agreement regarding the exports of Ukraine’s grain via the Black Sea on 22 July. The sides agreed to create a safe naval corridor for commercial vessels to sail across from Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhne. On 29 October, Russia withdrew from the grain deal, blaming the “massive strike” carried out with drones on ships and infrastructure of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

Despite that, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN agreed on a 31 October movement plan for 16 vessels that would sail across the humanitarian corridor. They informed Russia of that decision. Later, Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced that Russia was suspending ship traffic across the grain corridor.

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