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Russian 'blackmail' failed over grain deal - Ukrainian presidential aide

Russia is resuming participation in a deal to free up grain exports from Ukraine because it realised the initiative would still work without the Kremlin's involvement, a senior Ukrainian official said on Wednesday.

Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in a written statement to Reuters that Moscow's decision showed that Russian "blackmail" and "escalation and threats" fail when they meet a resolute response.

"One way or another, Russia, embarrassed, returned to the 'grain initiative' because it suddenly turned out that the grain corridor would work even without the Kremlin's participation," Podolyak said.

"This says only one thing: Russia is always inferior to those who are stronger, those who know how to take a blow, those who argue their position strongly."

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