Grain corridor crisis resolved

04 November 20222 min reading

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the traffic of vessels carrying Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products has resumed after a phone call between the Turkish and Russian defence ministers.

Russia on Wednesday announced it had agreed to return to the Turkish and U.N.-brokered deal that allowed the shipment of vital Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, just four days after suspending its role in the pact in a move that had threatened to exacerbate hunger across the world.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the first to announce Moscow’s rejoining the deal that followed his phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday and after consultations between their defense ministers.

Russia had pulled out of the grain deal over the weekend, citing allegations of a Ukrainian drone attack against its Black Sea fleet.

Erdoğan on Wednesday said that after his call with Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar that the deal for a humanitarian grain corridor would “continue in the same way as before” as of noon Wednesday.

Shortly after Erdoğan’s remarks, the Russian Defense Ministry said Russia agreed to continue carrying out its role in the deal after receiving written guarantees from Kyiv that Ukraine would not use the sea corridor for military actions against Moscow.

The Defense Ministry said thanks to the involvement of the United Nations and Türkiye, Ukraine had formally committed to using the safe shipping corridors through the Black Sea “exclusively in accordance with the stipulations of the Black Sea initiative,” a reference to the separate U.N. and Türkiye-brokered agreements signed by Moscow and Kyiv on July 22. “The Russian Federation considers that the guarantees received at the moment appear sufficient and resumes the implementation of the agreement,” the statement said.

The prices of wheat, soybeans, corn and rapeseed fell sharply on global markets following the announcement, which eased concerns about the growing unaffordability of food.

More than 9.2 million tons of grain have been carried via the Black Sea grain corridor Türkiye helped broker earlier this year in a bid to avert a potential food crisis amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

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