Officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are most likely to meet this week to discuss resuming Ukraine’s grain exports from the Black Sea, Ankara said on Monday, while a Turkish official said ongoing “small problems ’ should be overcome.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – two of the world’s major suppliers of wheat – has pushed up grain and other food prices.
It has stalled Kiev’s exports, stranded dozens of ships and left some 20 million tons of grain stuck in silos in Odessa.
Last week, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations would sign an agreement on the grain export corridor this week after talks in Istanbul.
But UN chief Antonio Guterres warned there was “a long way to go” before peace talks to end the war.
“Agreement was reached on a plan and general principles for shipping grain and food products. A meeting on this within the week is likely,” Akar said on Monday.
He said technical matters such as setting up a surveillance center in Istanbul, identifying safe routes and checkpoints at port exits and entrances are on the agenda.
Guterres spoke Monday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about “ongoing negotiations” to resume grain exports from the Black Sea, a UN spokesman said.
A senior Turkish official said there was a high probability the quartet would sign a deal this week.
“However, there are a few small problems. Negotiations continue to overcome these,” the official said, adding that all positive steps were affected by an attack or other major developments in the war. But there is a general expectation that it will be signed this week. I’m quite optimistic. It won’t be long before a final agreement is reached,” the person added.
Over the weekend, Russia pledged to step up military operations in Ukraine while its rockets and missiles pounded cities.
A Kremlin aide told reporters Monday that the presidents of Russia and Turkey would discuss the issue at a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday.
Turkey Says Ukraine, Russia, UN Grain Corridor Meeting This Week ‘Like Like’ – SABC News
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