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Turkey determined to continue efforts for grain deal: Erdoğan

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Turkey is determined to continue efforts to keep the Ukraine grain deal in force despite Russia suspending its participation, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Although Russia is hesitant … we will continue our efforts to serve humanity,” Erdoğan said in a televised address, days after Moscow said it was suspending its participation in the deal negotiated by Turkey and the UN to export Ukrainian grain.

Moscow blamed Kyiv for an attack on its Black Sea fleet and on Saturday pulled out of a deal to allow Ukrainian grain shipments for an “indefinite term.”

Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s biggest grain exporters, and a Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain shipments caused a global food crisis earlier this year.

“Our efforts to deliver this wheat to countries facing the threat of starvation are obvious. With the joint mechanism we established in İstanbul, we contributed to the relief of a global food crisis,” Erdoğan said, adding that the deal had already provided 9.3 million tons of grain to world markets.

Separately, a UN spokesperson said the first of 40 planned ship inspections on Monday had been completed in İstanbul waters with a team of just UN and Turkish members, rather than the previous four-member teams including Russians and Ukrainians before Moscow’s suspension.

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