After pulling out of the deal allowing vital Ukrainian grain exports via a maritime safety corridor, Russia said Monday, Oct.31, that continuing to enforce the agreement without its participation would be “dangerous.”
“In conditions where Russia talks about the impossibility of guaranteeing the safety of navigation in these areas, such deal is hardly feasible,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
“And it takes on a different character, much more risky, dangerous,” Peskov said, after reporters asked him about the possibility of prolonging the deal without Russia’s agreement.
In July, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal — brokered by Turkey and the UN — that allowed the resumption of grain exports halted by the military operation.
But Russia announced Saturday it would pull out of the deal after a drone attack on its Black Sea fleet, which Ukraine labelled a “false pretext”.
Despite Moscow’s decision, cargo ships loaded with grain and agricultural products left Ukrainian ports on Monday.
In all, 12 ships were due to leave Ukrainian ports on Monday and four were due to head to the country, according to the Joint Coordination Center that oversees the agreement.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who acted as a mediator in the deal — vowed to “continue our efforts to serve humanity” and keep the agreement in force.
On Monday, Peskov said Russia was “continuing diplomatic contacts with Turkey and the UN.”