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UN pauses movement of vessels under Black Sea Grain Initiative

The total tonnage of grain and foodstuffs moved from Ukrainian ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative is more than 9.7 million metric tonnes

The United Nations has announced that it will not plan any movement of vessels under the Black Sea Grain Initiative for Wednesday.

The move comes after Russia said that it cannot guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships participating in the Black Sea Initiative following the attack on Russian ships last Saturday.

Moscow has claimed that on the morning of October 29, the Ukrainian armed forces, “under the cover” of the humanitarian grain corridor, launched massive air and sea strikes against the ships and infrastructure of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at the naval base in Sevastopol.

The United Nations-backed initiative was signed by Russia, Ukraine and Turkey in Istanbul on July 22 in order to give global access to Ukrainian food products and Russian food and fertilizer.

Under the current circumstances, the UN Secretariat at the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul reported that there is no plan to move vessels under the Black Sea Grain Initiative for November 2.

It said that the UN and Turkish inspectors concluded 36 inspections on board outbound vessels on Tuesday. The teams boarded another two ships, but the process was suspended due to issues related to fumigated cargo.

“All inspection reports will be shared with the Russian and Ukrainian delegations,” the JCC reported.

It reiterated that movements and inspections carried out after the Russian Federation suspended its participation in implementation activities at the JCC is a “temporary and extraordinary” measure.

“The UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Amir Abdulla, in close cooperation and consultation with the Turkish delegation at the JCC, is exerting all efforts to resume full participation at the JCC,” the statement added.

The JCC, it said, can best deliver on its mandate with the full and active participation of all four delegations.

As of today, the total tonnage of grain and foodstuffs moved from Ukrainian ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative is more than 9.7 million metric tons.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had dialled his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday to discuss the current situation.

“During the conversation, S V Lavrov outlined the need to ensure the receipt of guarantees from Ukraine on the non-use of the humanitarian corridor and Ukrainian ports, identified in the interests of the export of agricultural products, to conduct military operations against the Russian Federation,” said a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“Only under such conditions is it possible to discuss the issue of resuming traffic along the security corridor defined by the Black Sea Initiative,” it added.

Also Read: Russia says ready to open ‘grain corridor’ only if Ukraine stops misusing it for military attacks