Turkey sets out Russian demands for resumption of Ukraine grain deal

  • Despite Russia’s suspension of participation, ships are loading grain
  • Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure caused blackouts
  • Kyiv plans 1,000 heating points for the winter – the mayor
  • Civilian evacuations are being carried out from more regions of Kherson

ANKARA/MYKOLAIV, Ukraine, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Turkey announced on Wednesday its terms for restoring a deal to free Russian exports of grain vital to global supplies from war-torn Ukraine, saying Moscow wanted to secure its own exports. grain and fertilizer.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlud Çavuşoğlu, whose country helped mediate the agreement signed with the United Nations on July 22 with the aim of mitigating the world food crisis, said that Ankara believes that an agreement will be reached for the extension of the agreement.

Russia suspended its participation in the treaty over the weekend, saying it could not guarantee the safety of civilian ships transiting the Black Sea because of its attack on the Black Sea fleet. Ukraine said it was a false pretext.

Industry sources told Reuters that despite the suspension, ships continue to carry Ukrainian grain on the route, but that this is unlikely to continue for long because insurance companies were not issuing new contracts because of Russia’s move.

“There are some security demands after the latest attack on Russian ships,” Cavusoglu said, adding that Moscow opposed it over the attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet over the weekend.

Çavuşoğlu noted that Moscow is also worried about the export of fertilizers and grains.

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He repeated the comments of Russian officials and said that “they are not on the list of sanctions, but the ships carrying them still cannot approach.”

“They still cannot get insurance and payments are not made. “Therefore, the ships of many countries avoid carrying these cargoes.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that the world should resolutely respond to Russia’s attempts to disrupt Ukraine’s export corridor through the Black Sea, which was closed after Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine on February 24.

As Ukraine is one of the world’s largest suppliers of grains and oilseeds, the Russian blockade has exacerbated food shortages and cost-of-living crises in many countries.

LONG TERM PROTECTION

In a video message on Tuesday night, Zelensky said that thanks to the work of Turkey and the UN, ships are still leaving Ukrainian ports with cargo.

“However, reliable and long-term protection is needed for the grain corridor,” Zelensky said.

“Russia should be clearly warned that it will receive a harsh response from the world for disrupting our food exports,” Zelensky said. “This is about the lives of tens of millions of people.”

The grain deal was intended to prevent starvation in poor countries and reduce price spikes by pumping more wheat, sunflower oil and fertilizer into world markets. It was targeting the pre-war level of 5 million metric tons exported from Ukraine each month.

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Under the agreement, the UN coordinator for grain and fertilizer exports said on Tuesday that loaded ships would leave Ukrainian ports on Thursday, while Ukraine’s infrastructure minister Alexander Kubrakov said eight ships would pass through the corridor during the day.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who spoke with his Russian counterpart twice in as many days, said on Tuesday that he expects a response from Russia “today and tomorrow”.

POWER OUTAGES

Russia launched missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, in what President Vladimir Putin called a response to the attack on the navy. Ukraine said it hit most of those missiles, but some hit power plants, knocking out electricity and water supplies.

Grid operator Ukrenergo said that electricity was cut in seven regions on Wednesday. The Kyiv region around the capital and Kharkiv region around the country’s second largest city were among them.

“We will do our best to provide electricity and heat for the upcoming winter,” Zelensky said. “But we must understand that Russia will do everything in its power to destroy normal life.”

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said authorities are preparing more than 1,000 heating points throughout the city in case the city’s central heating system fails.

The United States condemned the attacks and said about 100 missiles were fired at water and power supplies on Monday and Tuesday.

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State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that as temperatures drop, Russia’s attacks aimed at exacerbating human suffering are particularly abhorrent. Russia denies targeting civilians.

According to the officials, Kyiv was subjected to another attack during the night.

Zelensky’s chief of staff Andrey Yermak said that Ukrainian soldiers shot down 12 out of 13 Iranian drones.

“We are now engaged in an active dialogue on the supply of modern air defense systems, which we are working on every day,” he said on the Telegram messaging app.

Attacks on infrastructure are one of the ways Russia has justified the conflict since the Ukrainian counteroffensive began to pressure its own forces. Since the Russians failed to capture the capital immediately after the invasion, they are now dug in along the front line across southern and eastern Ukraine.

Russia on Tuesday demanded civilians leave the territory it occupies along the east bank of the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine’s Kherson region ahead of an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive into the Russian-held region of Crimea.

Moscow characterizes its actions in Ukraine as special military operations to “demilitarize and “de-azify” its neighbor. Ukraine and the West reject this as an unjustified pretext for a war of aggression.

Additional reports from Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv, Ezgi Erkoyun in Ankara and other Reuters bureaus; Written by Grant McCool, Lincoln Feast and Philippa Fletcher; Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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