Kyiv/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United Nations, Turkey and Ukraine push to implement a grain trade in the Black Sea, saying on Monday that 16 ships would be allowed to move forward despite Russia’s withdrawal from the deal. We agreed on a transportation plan. Allowed export of Ukrainian agricultural products to the world market.
Russia invaded Ukraine. On Saturday, February 24, it suspended its role in the Black Sea Agreement “indefinitely” and cut shipments from the world’s leading grain exporter. Attack on the Black Sea Fleet.
The move sparked protests from Ukraine, NATO, the European Union and the US, but the two main brokers of the July deal, the United Nations and Turkey, scrambled to save it on Sunday. rice field.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is deeply concerned about Russia’s move and has postponed a trip abroad to revive a deal aimed at alleviating the global food crisis.
Wheat futures in Chicago rose more than 5% on Monday in the wake of Russia’s move, as both Russia and Ukraine are the world’s largest wheat exporters, analysts said.
More than 9.5 million tonnes of maize, wheat, sunflower products, barley, rapeseed and soybeans have been exported since July. Under the agreement, the Joint Coordinating Center (JCC), composed of officials from the United Nations, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine, agrees to move ships and inspects them.
No ships passed through the established maritime humanitarian corridor on Sunday. However, the United Nations said in a statement that it had agreed with Ukraine and Turkey on a plan to move 16 ships on Monday.
A Russian official with the JCC said it had been informed of the plan, along with the intention to inspect 40 outgoing vessels on Monday, adding: “All participants will work with their respective military and other authorities to ensure the safe passage of merchant ships.” We will coordinate with the relevant authorities in under contract.
At a grain trade delegation meeting on Sunday, the Russian government said it would continue dialogue with the UN and Turkish delegation on pressing issues, according to a UN statement.
But there was no Russian reaction to Monday’s transit plan.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has been in contact with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in an attempt to restore the agreement and has urged both parties to avoid any provocations, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.
NATO and the European Union have urged Russia to reconsider its decision. US President Joe Biden on Saturday called Russia’s move “totally outrageous” and said it would increase hunger. US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken has accused Moscow of weaponizing food.
On Sunday, the Russian ambassador to Washington quickly hit back, saying the US response was “outrageous” and making false claims about Moscow’s move.
Russia’s defense ministry said Ukraine had earlier attacked the Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol with 16 drones and that “experts” from the Royal Navy helped coordinate what it called a terrorist attack. . Russia repelled the attack, but said the targeted ship was involved in securing a grain corridor from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied being behind the attacks. The Ukrainian military has suggested that the Russians themselves may have been responsible for the explosion.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleva said Moscow had used the explosion 220 kilometers from the grain corridor as a “false pretext” for its long-intended move.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff on Saturday accused Russia of fabricating attacks on its facilities.
Ukraine often accuses Russia of using the Black Sea Fleet to launch cruise missiles at Ukrainian civilians, which some military analysts say the Black Sea Fleet is a legitimate military target. Backed by a list.
The Russian aggression has recently been dominated by Ukrainian counterattacks and Russian drone and missile attacks that have destroyed more than 30% of Ukraine’s power generation capacity and hit densely populated areas. Both sides accuse the other of being ready to detonate a radioactive bomb.
Russia has asked the UN Security Council to meet on Monday to discuss the attack on Sevastopol, Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Poliansky wrote on Twitter.
The grain trade reopened shipments from Ukraine and enabled sales on world markets, with a target of pre-war levels of 5 million tonnes exported from Ukraine each month.
But before it expired on November 19, Russia said it had serious problems with it, and Ukraine complained that Moscow had blocked nearly 200 ships from picking up grain cargo. rice field.
The deal ensured safe entry and exit from Odessa and two other Ukrainian ports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of trying to escalate the crisis and said 218 ships were blocked, waiting to carry food or enter Ukrainian ports.
A ship chartered by the United Nations Food Program and carrying 30,000 tons of wheat intended for emergency response in the Horn of Africa was near three Ukrainian ports, according to the United Nations.
“We are ready to release this ship into the sea,” he said, but “because Russia is threatening the world with starvation,” he was forced to wait, as were other ships laden with agricultural products. It had been.
Reported by Reuters bureau, Ron Popeski, Pavel Polityuk and Michelle Nichols. By Humeira Pamuk.Edited by Diane Kraft
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