Erdoğan announces continuation of grain transport

Turkey's President Erdoğan has said that Russian Defence Minister Shoigu called Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and expressed that "the grain transports will continue as agreed before as of 12.00 (pm) today."


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Russian participation in a U.N.-brokered Ukrainian grain export deal was to resume on Nov. 2.

Speaking in parliament, Erdoğan said Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had informed his Turkish counterpart that the deal will resume.

"After the call we held yesterday with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, Russian Defence Minister Mr. Shoigu called our National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and expressed that the grain transports will continue as agreed before as of 12.00 (pm) today," Erdoğan said.

Citing the Russian defence ministry, state news agency TASS reported shortly after Erdoğan's comments that Russia will resume its participation in the Black Sea grain deal.

The export deal was agreed upon by Russia and Ukraine and brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July to ease a world hunger crisis caused in part by Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, a major grain producer, and an earlier blockade of its ports. It is due to expire on Nov. 19.

Russia suspended its participation on Oct. 29, saying it was responding to a drone attack on Moscow's fleet in Crimea that it blamed on Ukraine. Kyiv has not claimed responsibility and denies using the grain programme's security corridor for military purposes.

On the other hand, Russia is concerned about its security and the obstacles it faces exporting fertiliser and grains, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Nov. 2, days after Moscow suspended its participation in a U.N.-brokered export deal.

Speaking at a panel in Ankara, Cavusoglu cited two reasons for Moscow's move.

"Russia has some security demands after the recent attack on its ships," he said of an attack on Russia's Black Sea Fleet over the weekend.

Moscow is also concerned about its fertiliser and grain exports, "which are not on the list of sanctions but the ships that are carrying these still cannot dock," Cavusoglu said, echoing comments by Russian officials.

"They still cannot get insurance and payments are not made," he said. "Therefore, a lot of countries' ships are shying away from carrying these loads."