Grain transport deal still in force despite Russian statements – UN

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The United Nations does not believe that Russia’s suspension of participation in the “grain deal” means that it is no longer valid, and UN inspectors will continue to check ships transporting grain from Ukrainian ports, Martin Griffiths, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told reporters after a Security Council meeting, European Pravda reported.

“We firmly believe that the Black Sea Grain Initiative remains in force despite the suspension of Russia’s participation in it,” he stressed.

“Russia has neither suspended the grain deal nor withdrawn from it. They stated that they suspended participation in it for an indefinite period. And, as a result of that, we continue through this initiative to target vessels that are moving [from Ukraine]; along with Turkey, where possible, and Ukraine, to inspect those vessels,” Griffiths added.

At the same time, the UN Under-Secretary-General added that the Organization as a mediator continues to interact with the Russian side to resolve the issues raised by it. “The sooner we can fully restore Russia’s participation, the better,” he said.

Earlier, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said that Moscow would not recognize agreements on grain exports from Ukraine without its participation.

On October 29, Russia announced that it was suspending participation in the implementation of the “grain deal” allegedly because of the “terrorist attack” in Sevastopol Bay on Saturday morning. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the target of the attack in the Sevastopol Bay were the ships of the Black Sea Fleet, which were allegedly involved in ensuring the security of the grain corridor, a claim that was disproven by the UN.

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