Ambassador to Türkiye: Grain deal can be extended without Russia, but to face security problems

Ambassador to Türkiye: Grain deal can be extended without Russia, but to face security problems

There is a possibility of extending the grain corridor without Russia's participation in the deal, but no one can guarantee that Russia will not attack the ships.

Ambassador of Ukraine to Türkiye Vasyl Bodnar said this on the air of Radio Liberty (Svoboda LIVE program), Ukrinform reports.

"Physically, ships can pass from the ports of Odesa through the territorial waters of Romania, Bulgaria and Türkiye either to be inspected or not. It depends on how the parties to the current initiative decide. Since neither we, nor Turkey, nor the UN have withdrawn from this initiative, it continues to be valid for us. The only issue is the physical threat. That is, when the agreement was signed, the aggressor country gave guarantees not to attack ships and port infrastructure," the ambassador said and added that "now there is no such guarantee."

Read also: After night attack, Zelensky orders to strengthen protection of port infrastructure

According to Bodnar, "as an option, there is an opportunity to work with insurers, but here, too, there are issues of responsibility for security risks."

"There is also the issue of insurance, which has traditionally been relevant for sea carriers. When the grain agreement was signed, this insurance decreased in cost accordingly, which allowed us to export grain at a profit. Now it is also possible to do this if there is political will and certain security measures that we can guarantee, and perhaps one of our partners can guarantee. Although this is a bit questionable, because then we have to take responsibility for shooting down missiles or other weapons that the Russians may use to attack ports or ships," the diplomat explained.

He assured that Türkiye is interested in prolonging the grain deal, as it has been and is a major buyer of Ukrainian grain.

"We did not conclude this agreement with the Russian side. Therefore, as long as our partners (including Türkiye - ed.) consider it valid, we continue to insist that it should continue to operate," Bodnar emphasized.

Read also: Croatia offers its ports for export of Ukrainian grain

As Ukrinform reported earlier, Russia announced the termination of the grain deal, which was concluded on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul for 120 days and extended several times.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the grain initiative could operate without Russia's participation, and by withdrawing from the grain deal, Russia is disrupting its own agreements with Türkiye and the UN, as Ukraine has no agreements with the Russians.

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