Ukraine wants to continue implementing Black Sea grain deal

Ukraine wants to continue implementing Black Sea grain deal

When Russia announces suspension of grain deal, it ‘breaks agreements’ with Türkiye, UN, ‘not with us,’ says Ukrainian president

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - The Ukrainian president wants to continue the implementation of the Black Sea grain deal without Russia.

"After receiving Russia’s official signal, (on suspension of the grain deal) I instructed our Foreign Ministry to prepare our official signals to the UN and Türkiye so that I, the president of Ukraine, can receive response on whether they are ready to continue our initiative," Zelenskyy told African journalists in an interview, his spokesman Serhii Nykyforov said on Facebook.

Nykyforov further quoted Zelenskyy as saying that the grain deal is composed of two agreements.

"We had two agreements: (One between) Ukraine, Türkiye, and the UN, (and) another agreement (between) Russia, Türkiye, and the UN. Therefore, when Russia says that it is stopping, it is breaking its agreements with UN Secretary-General (Antonio) Guterres and (Turkish) President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan. Not with us. We did not have any agreements with them (Russia)," Zelenskyy said.

He said that “everything must be done” so that the grain corridor can be used.

“We are not afraid. We were approached by companies that own ships. They said that they are ready, if Ukraine lets (them) go, and Türkiye continues to let them go, then everyone is ready to continue supplying grain," he added.

Earlier, the Kremlin announced that Russia has suspended its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative which was due to expire on Monday.

The agreement, initially signed in July of last year in Istanbul by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine, was aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports. These exports had been halted as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war which began in February 2022.

On May 18, the deal was extended for an additional 60 days, ensuring the continuation of grain exports under the agreement.

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