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Russia Says It Will Resume Its Participation In The Strategic Grain Deal

The Russian Defense Ministry has said Moscow is resuming its participation in the Ukraine grain deal, saying it had received "sufficient" guarantees from Kyiv on demilitarizing a maritime corridor.

"Russia considers that the received guarantees are at the moment sufficient and is resuming the implementation of the agreement," the ministry said in a statement.

The statement came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told parliament that "shipments will continue from 12 p.m. today as planned," after a call between the Russian and Turkish defense ministers.

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Moscow pulled out of the UN-brokered deal on October 30 after its Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea's Sevastopol port was targeted by drones in what Russia called a "terrorist attack."

The Defense Ministry said it was able to get written guarantees from Kyiv "thanks to the participation" of the UN and "assistance" from Turkey.

The ministry said Kyiv guaranteed "the nonuse of the humanitarian corridor and Ukrainian ports defined in the interests of the export of agricultural products for conducting military operations against the Russian Federation."

The announcement came after Russian President Vladimir Putin told Erdogan that he wanted "real guarantees" from Kyiv before rejoining the deal.

However, the Kremlin on November 2 did not immediately confirm the resumption, saying that it was still in contact with Turkey over the deal, but that for now Russia's participation was suspended.

Ukraine had condemned Russia's decision to leave the UN-brokered deal, with Western countries urging Moscow to reconsider.

The deal, overseen by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, has allowed more than 9.7 million metric tons of grains and other foodstuffs to leave Ukrainian ports.

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It was agreed in July and played a crucial role in driving down the prices of wheat and other commodities globally. Although it was due to expire on November 19, efforts were already under way to extend the agreement.

Grain exports are a key revenue source for Ukraine, whose economy has been devastated by Russia's eight-month war.

By RFE/RL

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