Turkey says Russia agrees to join wartime grain deal

KYIV: Russia’s defense minister told his Turkish counterpart that Moscow had agreed to revert to a Turkey-UN-brokered deal that allowed millions of tons of Ukrainian grain to be shipped through the Black Sea, says the Turkish president.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called Turkey’s Hulusi Akar and informed him that the grain corridor deal “will continue in the same way as before” from Wednesday.
Erdogan said on Wednesday the deal would prioritize shipments to African countries, including Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan, in line with Russia’s concerns that most grain would end up in wealthier countries.
Russia suspended its participation in the grain deal over the weekend, citing allegations of a Ukrainian drone attack on its flight to the Black Sea. The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that maritime traffic from ports in southern Ukraine had been halted, calling the move “unacceptable”.
Ships laden with grain left Ukraine on Tuesday despite Russia’s suspension of its participation in a UN-brokered deal that guarantees the safe wartime passage of essential food supplies destined for parts of the world in the starving. But the United Nations had said the ships would not move on Wednesday, raising concerns about future shipments.
The United Nations and Turkey negotiated separate agreements with Russia and Ukraine in July to ensure that Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia would receive grain and other foodstuffs from the region. of the Black Sea during Russia’s war in Ukraine.


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