BY DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
Türkiye is determined to continue its efforts for the Black Sea grain export deal despite Russian hesitancy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday after Moscow suspended its participation in the initiative at the weekend.
“Even if Russia behaves hesitantly because it didn’t receive the same benefits, we will decisively continue our efforts to serve humanity,” Erdoğan said told an event in Istanbul.
Moscow blamed Kyiv for an attack on its Black Sea Fleet and on Saturday pulled out of a deal to allow Ukrainian grain shipments for an “indefinite term.”
No ships moved through the established maritime humanitarian corridor on Sunday. The United Nations, Türkiye and Ukraine, however, pressed ahead to implement the deal and agreed on a transit plan for Monday for 16 vessels to move forward, despite the withdrawal of Russia.
Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s biggest food exporters, and a Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain shipments caused a global food crisis earlier this year.
“Our effort to deliver this wheat to countries facing the threat of starvation is evident. With the joint mechanism that we established in Istanbul, we contributed to the relief of a global food crisis,” Erdoğan said, adding the deal had already provided 9.3 million metric tons of food to world markets.
Separately, a U.N. spokesperson said the first of 40 planned ship inspections on Monday had been completed in Istanbul waters with a team of just U.N. and Turkish members, rather than the previous four-member teams including Russians and Ukrainians before Moscow’s suspension of its participation.