Russia rejoins Black Sea grain deal

STORY: Russia is to resume participation in the Black Sea grain deal.

That’s according to the defense ministry on Wednesday (November 2).

Moscow had suspended its involvement in the deal over the weekend.

Saying it could not guarantee safety for civilian ships, following an attack on its Black Sea fleet.

But the ministry said on Wednesday it had been able to obtain written guarantees from Kyiv, saying it would not use the humanitarian corridor or Ukrainian ports to conduct military operations against Russia.

Moscow also thanked Turkey and the United Nations - who helped broker the deal - for their involvement.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the deal would resume on Wednesday.

"After the call we held yesterday with Vladimir Putin, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called our National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and said that the grain transports will continue as previously agreed, as of 1200 today."

It comes a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for stronger defenses for grain shipments.

He said the world should respond firmly to any Russian attempts to disrupt the Black Sea corridor.

The conflict in Ukraine has fuelled food shortages and a cost-of-living crisis in many countries.

The July deal aimed to tackle that, by providing safe passage for vessels carrying grain and fertilizer exports.

Ships had continued to export Ukrainian grain even while Russia withdrew cooperation, and a record volume moved on Monday (November 1).

The deal’s U.N. coordinator said he expects more loaded ships to leave Ukrainian ports on Thursday (November 3).