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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Commercial vessels, including vessels which are part of Black Sea grain deal, wait to pass the Bosphorus Strait off Istanbul, Turkey, on October 31.

Twelve vessels left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Monday, despite Russia withdrawing from the UN-brokered grain deal at the weekend, a Ukrainian official said.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, the country’s infrastructure minister, said the UN and Turkey would inspect the ships – a process that takes place near the Turkish city of Istanbul. Moscow had been informed, he added.

“Today 12 (ship)s left (Ukrainian) ports. @UN & (Turkish) delegations provide 10 inspection teams to inspect 40 (ship)s aiming to fulfill the #BlackSeaGrainInitiative. This inspection plan has been accepted by the (Ukrainian) delegation,” Kubrakov tweeted.

One of the ships that set sail on Monday was loaded with 40,000 tons of grain, destined for Ethiopia, he added.

The minister said that four vessels were also en route to Ukraine after being inspected in the Bosphorus Strait on Sunday, by a team that included representatives from the UN, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia.

His update followed an announcement from the UN Sunday that 12 vessels would leave Ukraine through the maritime corridor on October 31.

The Kremlin announced Saturday it would halt its participation in the grain export deal with Kyiv after drone attacks on the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

Russia’s decision to pull out of the agreement prompted concern from Western officials, after the World Food Programme estimated that tens of millions of people moved into a stage of acute hunger as a consequence of the Ukraine war.




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