Russia is set to resume its participation in Ukraine’s grain export deal, the country’s defense ministry has confirmed.
Moscow pulled out of the UN-brokered deal over the weekend following what it called a “terrorist attack” on its Black Sea fleet of ships in Crimea by Ukrainian forces.
The country said it could not guarantee the safety of civilian vessels crossing the popular trade route following the incident, for which Ukraine did not claim responsibility.
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However, after receiving written guarantees from Kyiv that it will not use the Black Sea grain corridor for military operations against Russia, Vladimir Poutine reversed the decision.
“The Russian Federation considers that the guarantees received at the moment seem sufficient and is resuming the implementation of the agreement,” the Defense Ministry said, announcing that it would restart exports.
The deal allows millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain to be shipped through blocked ports and aims to help stave off starvation in poorer countries.
Turkey confirmed the news, saying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told his Turkish counterpart that operations would resume at noon on Wednesday.
“Grain transports will continue as previously agreed from noon today,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said.
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Wheat prices fell 6% as news of Russia’s U-turn reached financial markets.
That erased gains seen on Monday, when participants were able to react for the first time to news on Saturday that the Black Sea export deal was cancelled.
Other raw materials, such as corn, also fell in price.
The easing of costs is important because it removes some inflationary pressures that would have fueled supply chains had Moscow not caved.
Ukraine calls for ‘strong response’ from world leaders
Ships continued to carry Ukrainian grain along the route, despite the suspension, but this was unlikely to continue any longer as insurance companies stopped issuing new contracts.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on world leaders to react strongly to any attempt by Russia to disrupt the export corridor.
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The route through the Black Sea has been blocked since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
As a result, food shortages in several countries have been exacerbated, with Ukraine being one of the biggest grain suppliers in the world.
“Russia needs to be made clear that it will receive a harsh response from the world to any measures aimed at disrupting our diet
exports,” Mr. Zelenskyy said during his late-night address.
“It is clear here that the lives of tens of millions of people are at stake.”