First Istanbul meeting on Ukrainian grain exports gives hope for resolution of stalemate

14 July, 01:56 PM
Russians have been stealing Ukrainian grain (Photo:Yoruk Isik/Reuters)

Russians have been stealing Ukrainian grain (Photo:Yoruk Isik/Reuters)

A quadrilateral meeting was held in Istanbul on July 13 on the issue of unblocking the Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain, in which representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the UN took part, reports Anadolu Agency.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the parties agreed on the establishment of a coordination center in Istanbul and agreed on "main technical issues", including "joint control at points of departure and arrival".

According to the official, "[the Turkish side] sees that the parties are ready to solve this problem." He announced that another meeting of the Ukrainian and Russian delegations should take place next week, at which all details will be reviewed again and the final document will be signed.

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As reported by Reuters citing sources among diplomats, the parties discussed the departure of ships with grain from the ports accompanied by Ukrainian ships on the condition that Russia agrees to a ceasefire during the movement of cargo, and Turkey, with the support of the United Nations, will inspect the ships to "allay Russian fears over arms smuggling".

Earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, said that the negotiations regarding Russia's unblocking of Ukrainian ports for the resumption of grain exports to the international market were at the final stage.

Russia has deliberately blocked Ukrainian ports and sea routes in the Black Sea, disabling the export of grain from Ukraine, and has also prevented exports by rail, launching missile strikes on elevators, railway infrastructure, and even crop fields, causing fires.

Kremlin officials demanded that sanctions imposed on Russia for the war against Ukraine be lifted in exchange for the unblocking of Ukrainian ports.

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