Turkey to continue grain deal efforts despite Russia suspension

10/31/2022 6:34:10 PM
 A sunken Ukrainian warship is seen near the pier with the grain storage in the background at an area of the Mariupol Sea Port in eastern Ukraine, Sunday, June 12, 2022.
 photo: AP
Teams inspecting inbound and outbound ship would only include UN and Turkish ones.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey will continue its efforts for the deal to export grain through the Black Sea, despite Russia's reluctance, after Moscow suspended its participation on Sunday.

"Even if Russia acted hesitantly because it did not get the same benefits, we will decisively continue our efforts to serve humanity," Erdogan added in the speech.

"Although Russia is reluctant because it does not get the same facilities (as Ukraine), we are determined to continue efforts in the service of humanity," said the Turkish president as one of the mediators of the July 19 grain export agreement in Istanbul.

Separately, a UN spokesman said the first of Monday's planned inspections of 40 ships had been completed in Istanbul waters by only a UN and Turkish team, rather than previous teams that also included Russians and Ukrainians before Moscow suspended its role in the deal.

Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said 12 ships had moved out of Ukrainian ports today, Monday, under the Black Sea grain initiative, after a United Nations spokesman for the initiative told Reuters that teams from Turkey and the United Nations had resumed inspection of ships under the agreement.

Russia suspended its participation in the agreement to export Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports on Saturday "indefinitely" due to what it described as its inability to "guarantee the safety of civilian ships" sailing under the agreement after its Black Sea fleet was attacked, in a drone attack on Crimea. Russia said, Ukraine manipulated to the deal to attack Russia as demilitarized space in the ports were used for the attack.

"Today 12 ships left Ukrainian ports, the UN and Turkey delegations submitted 10 inspection teams to inspect 40 ships with the aim of fulfilling obligations under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the Ukrainian delegation accepted this inspection plan, the Russian delegation was informed," Kubrakov wrote on Twitter.

The United Nations said it had agreed with Ukraine and Turkey on a plan for the movement of 16 ships today, Monday, 12 of which will exit from Ukrainian ports and four will enter it, and also intends to inspect 40 ships during the day that will move out and are now anchored near Istanbul.

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