Black Sea grain shipments resume
Russia rejoins deal after guarantees from Ukraine
Published: Nov 02, 2022 10:25 PM
Grain export shipments from Ukraine resumed on Wednesday as Russia said it was rejoining a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey to establish a safe Black Sea corridor.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip ­Erdogan told parliament that "shipments will continue from 12:00 today [09:00 GMT] as planned," after a call between the Russian and Turkish defense ministers.

Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed it was resuming participation, saying it had received "sufficient" guarantees from Kiev on demilitarizing the maritime corridor.

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

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

This has brought much-needed relief to a global food crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, a major grain exporter.

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

Russia on Saturday said it was temporarily pulling out, accusing Ukraine of misusing the safe shipping corridor to launch a drone attack on its Black Sea fleet.

Some shipments in and out of Ukraine continued after that but the UN on Tuesday said there would be no movements on Wednesday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday urged "reliable and long-term protection" of the corridor while Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded "real guarantees."

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

Grain-loaded cargo kept sailing on Monday and Tuesday, but the UN said any ship movements after Russia announced its suspension were "a temporary and extraordinary measure."

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that it was "dangerous" to continue exports without Russia's participation.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday said it obtained written guarantees from Kiev "thanks to the participation" of the UN and "assistance" from Turkey.