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UPDATE 1-Erdogan says Turkey to continue grain deal efforts after Russia hesitates

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ISTANBUL, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Turkey will continue its efforts for the Black Sea grain export deal despite Russian hesitancy, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday after Moscow suspended its participation in the initiative at the weekend.

"Even if Russia behaves hesitantly because it didn't receive the same benefits, we will continue decisively our efforts to serve humanity," Erdogan said in a speech.

Moscow blamed Kyiv for an attack on its Black Sea fleet and on Saturday pulled out of a deal to allow Ukrainian grain shipments for an "indefinite term".

Russia and Ukraine are among the world's biggest food exporters, and a Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain shipments caused a global food crisis earlier this year.

"Our effort to deliver this wheat to countries facing the threat of starvation is evident. With the joint mechanism that we established in Istanbul, we contributed to the relief of a global food crisis," Erdogan said, adding the deal had already provided 9.3 million tons of food to world markets.

Separately, a U.N. spokesperson said the first of 40 planned ship inspections on Monday had been completed in Istanbul waters with a team of just U.N. and Turkish members, rather than the previous four-member teams including Russians and Ukrainians before Moscow's suspension. (Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu, Ezgi Erkoyun; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Ece Toksabay and Jonathan Spicer)

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