“Ukrainian, Turkish, and United Nations delegations agreed not to plan any movement of vessels in the Black Sea Grain Initiative for Nov. 2,” according to the UN Secretariat at the Joint Coordination Center for the initiative. The statement follows Russia's decision to withdraw from the grain corridor agreement on Oct. 29.
Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry reported that despite Russia's move, in the last two days, 17 ships had passed through the corridor in both directions. Two of them arrived at Ukrainian ports for loading. Three vessels, loaded with 85.000 metric tons of agricultural products, left for African and European countries on Nov. 1, according to the ministry.
The UN Secretariat at the Joint Coordination Center said that it had carried out 36 inspections on board outbound vessels on Nov. 1“a temporary and extraordinary measure.”
On Oct. 29, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced that Moscow was suspending the U.N.-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative over a drone attack on the occupied Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol in Crimea.
Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack on its Black Sea Fleet on Oct. 29. Ukraine hasn't commented on the alleged accusation.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Moscow had used a false pretext to block the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and that Ukraine had warned the international community of Russia's plans to do that.
The grain deal, in effect since Aug. 1, enabled 9.3 million tons of agricultural products to be exported from Ukraine, much of which has been crucial for the food security of parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Over the past two weeks, Russia had begun casting doubt on its signing of an extension to the deal, set to expire in late November.