Conflicts & War

Grain ships leave Ukraine ports despite Russia backing out of deal

Istanbul, Nov 1 (EFE).- Three grain ships have left Ukrainian ports, the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) reported on Tuesday, despite Moscow announcing that it has suspended the agreement allowing the safe passage of vessels.

Ismini Palla, the UN spokesperson for the JCC, said in a statement that the grain ships are already in the humanitarian sea corridor.

Their passage has been agreed upon by delegations from Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations, while Russia has been informed, according to Palla.

The three vessels – the SSI Challenger, the Bomustafa O and the Nimet Torlak – have departed from the Black Sea ports, carrying thousands of tons of grain and are bound for Germany, Libya and Morocco.

Officials from Turkey and the United Nations inspected on Monday 46 ships from Ukraine and are expected to do the same on Tuesday, the JCC said.

Palla said that Amir Abdulla, the UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative, was in talks with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey for them to return to the deal.

Turkish defense minister Hulusi Akar has spoken with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts separately over the telephone in an attempt to keep the grain deal alive, according to the ministry of defense.

Turkey has urged Moscow and Kyiv to keep the grain exports deal separate from the conflict to avoid a looming global food crisis.

“The grain shipment initiative, which is a purely human activity, should be separated from conflict conditions,” Akar said.

Russia backed out of the deal over the weekend following drone attacks in the city of Sevastopol on the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.

The grain deal reached in July with the mediation of Turkey and the UN ended a months-long blockade of Ukrainian grain exports following Russia’s invasion.EFE


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