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Russia tells Turkey disbanding Istanbul grain coordination center: statement

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Russia told Turkey on Tuesday that it was disbanding a coordination center in İstanbul and lifting security guarantees for cargo ships following Moscow’s exit from a landmark deal to allow grain exports from Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported.

“The implementation of grain agreements has been terminated,” the foreign ministry said after Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, spoke to his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan.

Moscow’s exit from the deal means “the dissolution of the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul” and the lifting of “safe navigation guarantees,” among other conditions, the ministry said in a statement.

The Kremlin said Monday that the Ukraine grain deal had “de facto ended” hours before it was due to expire, and that Moscow would return to the landmark agreement if its conditions were met.

The crucial deal, brokered by the UN and Turkey, was officially due to run out at the end of Monday. It allowed Ukraine to export grain via the Black Sea.

Moscow has threatened to leave the deal for weeks, saying its side of the agreement was not properly implemented.

“The Black Sea agreements have de facto ended today,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“The grain deal has ceased. As soon as the Russian part [of the agreements] are fulfilled, the Russian side will immediately return to the grain deal.”

After the Kremlin’s announcement, Russian news agencies reported Moscow had notified Turkey, Ukraine and the UN that it was against extending the deal.

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