- Ships are loading grain despite suspension of Russian intervention
- Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure caused power outages
- Mayor of Kyiv has planned 1000 heating points for winter
- Civilians were evacuated from more areas of Kherson
ANKARA/MYKOLAEV, Ukraine, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Turkey on Wednesday announced Russia’s terms for resuming a deal to free up grain exports from war-torn Ukraine, vital to global supplies, saying Moscow wanted to guarantee its exports. From grains and fertilizers
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose country helped broker the July 22 deal alongside the United Nations aimed at easing the global food crisis, said Ankara believed a deal would be reached to extend it.
Russia suspended its involvement in the deal over the weekend, saying it could not guarantee the safety of civilian ships transiting the Black Sea because of attacks on its fleet there. Ukraine said it was a false pretext.
Industry sources told Reuters that ships have continued to carry Ukrainian grain on the route despite the suspension, but that is unlikely to continue for long as insurers are not issuing new contracts because of Russia’s action.
“Russia has some security demands after the recent attack on its ships,” Cavusoglu said of the weekend attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet, which Moscow said it had prevented.
Çavuşoğlu said that Moscow is also concerned about its fertilizer and grain exports.
Echoing the statements of the Russian authorities, he said: These are not on the list of sanctions, but the ships that carry them cannot dock yet.
“They still can’t get insurance and the payments aren’t going through,” he said. Therefore, ships from many countries refuse to carry these cargoes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the world must respond decisively to any Russian attempts to disrupt Ukraine’s export corridor through the Black Sea, which was blocked after Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Russia’s blockade has exacerbated food shortages and a cost-of-living crisis in many countries, as Ukraine is one of the world’s largest suppliers of grains and oilseeds.
Long term defense
Zelenskiy said in a video speech Tuesday night that ships are still leaving Ukrainian ports with cargo thanks to the work of Turkey and the United Nations.
“But a reliable, long-term defense of the grain corridor is needed,” Zelensky said.
“Russia should be clearly aware that it will receive a tough response from the world to any attempt to disrupt our food exports,” Zelensky said. “The lives of tens of millions of people are clearly at stake here.”
The goal of the grain deal was to help prevent famine in poorer countries by injecting more wheat, sunflower oil and fertilizer into world markets and reducing sharp price increases. The pre-war level targeted 5 million tons of exports from Ukraine per month.
The U.N. coordinator for grain and fertilizer exports under the deal said Tuesday he expected loaded ships to leave Ukrainian ports on Thursday, and Ukraine’s infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubakov said eight ships were expected through the corridor during the day. to pass
After speaking with his Russian counterpart twice on Tuesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said he expected Russia to respond “today and tomorrow.”
Russia fired on Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, in what President Vladimir Putin called retaliation for an attack on a Ukrainian fleet. Ukraine said it shot down most of the missiles, but some hit power stations, cutting off electricity and water supplies.
Grid operator Ukrenergo said seven regions experienced blackouts on Wednesday. Among them were Kyiv region around the capital and Kharkiv region around the country’s second largest city.
“We will do everything we can to provide electricity and heat for the coming winter,” Zelensky said. But we must understand that Russia will do everything in its power to destroy normal life.
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said authorities in Kyiv are preparing more than 1,000 heating points across the city to disable its district heating system.
The United States condemned the attacks, saying about 100 missiles were fired on Monday and Tuesday, targeting water and energy sources.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters: “As the temperature drops, these Russian attacks are particularly egregious with the aim of exacerbating human suffering.” Russia denies targeting civilians.
Kyiv came under further attack overnight, officials said.
Ukrainian soldiers shot down 12 out of 13 Iranian drones, Zelenskyi’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak said.
He said on the Telegram messenger: “We are now actively discussing the provision of modern air defense systems and we are working on this issue every day.
Attacks on infrastructure are one way Russia has escalated the conflict since a Ukrainian counteroffensive began putting pressure on its forces. After failing to capture the capital immediately after the invasion, the Russians are now dug in along the front line along southern and eastern Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Russia told civilians to leave the area it occupies along the east bank of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine’s Kherson province, ahead of an expected Ukrainian counterattack on the area, a gateway to Russian-held Crimea.
Moscow describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation to demilitarize and “de-identify” its neighbor. Ukraine and Western countries have dismissed this as a baseless pretext for a war of conquest.
Additional reporting by Pavel Polituk in Kyiv, Ezegi Erkoyun in Ankara and other Reuters bureaus. By Grant McCool, Lincoln Fast and Philippa Fletcher. Edited by Simon Cameron Moore
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