Russia agreed yesterday to re-join an agreement to allow Ukrainian grain export shipments from its Black Sea ports, just days after it withdrew from the deal.
In announcing that Russia would rejoin the grain pact it had left on 30 October, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had received assurances that Ukraine would not use the humanitarian export corridor to attack Russian forces, ABC News wrote on 2 November.
However, Putin warned that Russia reserved the right to withdraw from the deal again if Kiev broke its word.
Moscow and Kiev signed the export corridor deal – brokered by the United Nations and Turkey - on 22 July. The agreement allowed Ukrainian deep sea ports to export grain, blocked since Russia invaded the country on 24 February. The blockade had pushed up prices of grains and oilseeds and threatened global food shortages.
Russia withdrew from the grain corridor deal – due for renewal on 19 November - in retaliation to a drone attack on warships based in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol.
Putin praised Turkey’s mediation efforts to get the deal back on track, as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “neutrality in the conflict as a whole”, ABC News wrote.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also thanked Erdogan “for his active participation in maintaining the grain agreement”.
Erdogan said grain shipments would resume, prioritising those to African nations, including Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan.
The deal had allowed more than 9M tonnes of barley, corn, rapeseed, sunflower products, soyabeans and wheat to be exported from Ukrainian ports, according to an RTE News report.