UN, Turkey and Ukraine pursue Black Sea grains deal despite Russia’s withdrawal

KYIV/NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) – The United Nations, Turkey and Ukraine continued to implement a Black Sea grain deal and agreed on a transit plan for 16 ships, despite Russia’s withdrawal from the pact that allowed the export of Ukrainian agricultural products to world markets.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine. On Saturday, February 24, he ended his role in the Black Sea deal for an “indefinite period”, cutting off shipments from one of the world’s leading grain exporters, as he said he could not “guarantee the safety of civilian ships” traveling under the pact after an attack on its Black Sea Fleet.

The decision sparked an outcry from Ukraine, NATO, the European Union and the United States, while the United Nations and Turkey, two main brokers of the July agreement, rushed on Sunday to save him.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was deeply concerned about Russia’s decision and delayed a foreign trip to try to revive the deal that was meant to ease a global food crisis, his spokesperson said. word.

Following Russia’s move, Chicago wheat futures jumped more than 5% on Monday, with Russia and Ukraine among the world’s largest wheat exporters, analysts said.

More than 9.5 million tonnes of corn, wheat, sunflower products, barley, rapeseed and soybeans have been exported since July. As part of the agreement, a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) – made up of UN, Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials – agrees on the movement of ships and inspects vessels.

No ship crossed the maritime humanitarian corridor established on Sunday. But the United Nations said in a statement it had agreed with Ukraine and Turkey on a movement plan for 16 ships on Monday – 12 outbound and four inbound.

He said Russian JCC officials had been briefed on the plan, as well as the intention to inspect 40 outgoing vessels on Monday, and noted that “all participants are coordinating with their respective military authorities and other relevant authorities to ensure the safe passage of commercial vessels”. “as part of the deal.

During Sunday’s session between the grain deal delegations, Russian officials said Moscow would continue dialogue with the United Nations and the Turkish delegation on pressing issues, the UN said in its statement.

But there was no Russian reaction to Monday’s transit plan.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar was in contact with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to try to salvage the deal and had asked the parties to avoid any provocation, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

NATO and the European Union urged Russia to reconsider its decision. US President Joe Biden on Saturday called Russia’s move “purely outrageous” and said it would increase starvation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Moscow of militarization of food.

On Sunday, the Russian ambassador in Washington, broken backclaiming the US response was “outrageous” and made false claims about Moscow’s decision.


The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukraine attacked the Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol with 16 drones ahead and that British naval “specialists” had helped coordinate what she called a terrorist attack. Britain denied the claim. Russia said it repelled the attack but the targeted ships were involved in securing the grain corridor out of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied being behind the attack. The Ukrainian army has suggested that the Russians themselves may have been responsible for the explosions.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Moscow had used the explosions 220 km (137 miles) from the grain corridor as a “false pretext” for a long-planned move.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff on Saturday accused Russia of fabricating attacks on its own facilities.

Ukraine often accuses Russia of using the Black Sea Fleet to fire cruise missiles at Ukrainian civilian targets, a charge supported by some military analysts who say this makes the fleet a legitimate military target.

The invasion of Russia was recently dominated by a Ukrainian counteroffensive and Russian drone and missile attacks that destroyed more than 30% of Ukraine’s production capacity and hit populated areas. Each side accused the other of being ready to blow radioactive bombs.

Russia has asked the UN Security Council to meet on Monday to discuss the Sevastopol attack, UN Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy wrote on Twitter.


The grain deal had revived shipments from Ukraine, allowing sales on world markets, targeting the pre-war level of 5 million metric tons exported from Ukraine each month.

But before it expired on November 19, Russia had said there were serious problems with it and Ukraine complained that Moscow had blocked nearly 200 ships from picking up grain shipments.

The agreement ensured safe passage to and from Odessa and two other Ukrainian ports.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of wanting to escalate the crisis, saying 218 ships were stuck waiting to transport food or enter Ukrainian ports.

A ship carrying 30,000 tonnes of wheat chartered by the UN Food Program for the emergency response in the Horn of Africa was among those near the three Ukrainian ports, according to the UN

“We are ready to release this ship at sea,” he said, but like other ships carrying agricultural products, he was forced to wait, “because Russia is blackmailing the world with the hungry,” he said.

Reporting from the offices of Reuters, Ron Popeski, Pavel Polityuk, Michelle Nichols; Written by Humeyra Pamuk; edited by Diane Craft

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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