Erdogan says Russia agreed to resume grain deal
Russia's defense minister has told his Turkish counterpart that Moscow has agreed to return to a Turkish and UN-brokered deal that allowed the shipment of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said.
Erdogan said that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar and informed him that the grain corridor agreement would "continue in the same way as before" as of Wednesday.
Erdogan said Wednesday that the deal would prioritize shipments to African nations, including Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan, in line with Russia's concerns that most of the grain was ending up in richer nations.
Russia had pulled out of the grain deal on Saturday accusing Ukraine of a drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea.
The grain export deal was signed by Russia and Ukraine and brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July to allow Ukrainian grain that was stuck in the silos in ports blockaded by the Russian fleet.
After Erdogan’s announcement, the Russian Defense Ministry also confirmed the resumption of the deal.
"The Russian Federation considers that the guarantees received at the moment appear sufficient, and resumes the implementation of the agreement," the defense ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said that thanks to the involvement of the UN and Turkey, it had been possible to obtain written guarantees from Ukraine that it would not use the humanitarian corridor and Ukrainian ports to conduct military operations against Russia.