Ukraine war: Russia gets back into grain deals

Russia is rejoining the deal suspended on Saturday to export grain from Ukraine via the Black Sea.

Ukraine war: Russia gets back into grain deals

Russia is rejoining the deal suspended on Saturday to export grain from Ukraine via the Black Sea. This was announced by the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow. Thanks to Turkey's mediation, Ukraine has pledged not to use the sea corridor for hostilities against Russia. There were necessary written guarantees from Ukraine to use the established humanitarian corridor and the ports only for the export of food.

That is sufficient for the moment to fulfill the agreement, it said in Moscow. The transports would continue on Wednesday, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Deliveries should primarily target poorer countries.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called the resumption in an interview with "Welt" an "expression of how strong international cohesion is". Russia tried again to "use hunger as a weapon". But the world community, led by the United Nations, has made it clear: "No, we don't believe your lies," said Baerbock.

After the drone attacks on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, Russia surprisingly suspended the agreement on the transport of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports on Saturday. According to the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, the reason was the "terrorist attacks" on the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

Moscow blames Britain

The Ministry accused the British Navy of having given the instructions for shelling the peninsula with drones. According to Russian information, a minesweeper was also damaged. Great Britain rejected the allegations.

The UN coordinator for the export of Ukrainian grain, Amir Abdulla, welcomed the resumption of the agreement. "I look forward to working again with all parties to the initiative," he said on Twitter.

For weeks, Russia had been threatening a possible halt to the grain agreement, which has brought Ukrainian food back onto the world market since the summer. In the past few days, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has complained that Russia is blocking the passage of ships laden with grain.

He stressed the importance of these shipments in fighting world hunger. Although the war continues to hamper exports, Zelenskyi recently said that Ukraine has exported almost eight million tons of food by sea since the Grains Agreement came into force. 60 percent of the amount went to Africa and Asia.

came into effect in the summer

In July, Russia, mediated by the United Nations and Turkey, agreed to grain exports, but always threatened to scrap the four-month agreement. Moscow has long complained that part of the summer agreement is not being implemented.

In the agreement, Russia agreed to end the blockade of Ukrainian seaports for grain exports, but in return demanded relief for its own exports of fertilizers and food. Russia and Ukraine are both major grain exporters, earning billions from exports.