Turkey sets out Russian demands for resumption of Ukraine grain deal

  • Despite Russia’s suspension of participation, ships continue to load grain.
  • Russian attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure cause blackouts.
  • Kyiv plans 1,000 heating points for winter – Mayor
  • Evacuation of citizens from more areas of Kherson started

ANKARA/MYKULAYU, Ukraine, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Turkey on Wednesday set Russia’s terms for resuming a deal to free up grain exports from war-torn Ukraine, which are crucial to global supplies. Saying that Moscow wants to protect its exports. of grain and fertilizer.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose country helped broker a July 22 accord with the United Nations aimed at easing the global food crisis, said Ankara was confident a deal could be reached to extend it. will be found.

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

Industry sources told Reuters that ships continued to carry Ukrainian grain on the route despite the suspension, but it was unlikely to continue for much longer as insurance companies are not issuing new contracts due to Russia’s move. were

“There are some security demands after Russia’s recent attack on its ships,” Cavusoglu said of a weekend attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet, which Moscow said it prevented. Is.

Cavusoglu said Moscow was also concerned about its fertilizer and grain exports.

He echoed comments from Russian officials, saying they were not on the sanctions list “but the ships carrying them still cannot dock.”

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“They still can’t get insurance and don’t get paid,” he said. “Therefore, ships from many countries shy away from carrying this load.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the world should respond strongly to any Russian attempt to disrupt Ukraine’s export corridor across the Black Sea, which Moscow blocked after it invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The Russian blockade has exacerbated food shortages and livelihoods in many countries, as Ukraine is one of the world’s largest suppliers of grain and oilseeds.

Long term defense

In a video address Tuesday night, Zelenskiy said ships were still leaving Ukrainian ports with cargo thanks to the work of Turkey and the United Nations.

“But the grain corridor needs a reliable and long-term defense,” Zielinski said.

“Russia should be clearly informed that any move to disrupt our food exports will have a strong response from the world,” Zelensky said. “There are clearly millions of lives at stake here.”

The purpose of the grain deal is to help poor countries avoid famine by allowing more wheat, sunflower oil and fertilizer to enter world markets and reduce sharp price increases. It hit a pre-war level of 5 million metric tons exported from Ukraine per month.

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The U.N. coordinator for grain and fertilizer exports under the deal said Tuesday that he expected heavily loaded ships to leave Ukrainian ports on Thursday, and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kobrakov said he expected Eight ships a day will pass through the corridor.

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

Power kits

Russia fired missiles at Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, in what President Vladimir Putin described as retaliation for the attack on the naval fleet. Ukraine said it shot down most of those missiles, but some hit power stations, cutting off electricity and water supplies.

Grid operator Ukrainergo said seven regions were experiencing power cuts on Wednesday. These included the Kyiv region around the capital and the region around Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city.

“We will do everything we can to provide power and heat this coming winter,” Zielinski said. “But we must understand that Russia will do everything possible to destroy normal life.”

Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said authorities in Kyiv are preparing more than 1,000 heating points across the city in case its district heating system becomes inoperable.

The United States condemned the attacks, saying about 100 missiles were fired on Monday and Tuesday, targeting water and energy supplies.

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State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that with temperatures plunging, these Russian attacks aimed at increasing human suffering are particularly heinous. Russia denies targeting civilians.

Officials said Kyiv came under further attack overnight.

Zelenskyi’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said Ukrainian troops shot down 12 of 13 Iranian drones.

“We are now having a dialogue regarding the provision of advanced air defense systems, we are working on it every day,” he said on the Telegram messaging app.

Attacks on infrastructure are among the ways Russia has escalated the conflict since Ukraine began pressuring its forces in retaliation. The Russians are now digging in along a front line along the south and east of Ukraine after failing to capture the capital immediately after the attack.

On Tuesday, Russia asked civilians to leave an area along the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine’s Kherson province ahead of an expected Ukrainian counterattack on the area, the gateway to Russian-held Crimea. There is a way.

Moscow describes its operations in Ukraine as special military operations aimed at demilitarizing and “deconsolidating” its neighbor. Ukraine and Western countries have rejected it as a groundless pretext for a war of conquest.

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

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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