Turkiye pushes for Ukraine grain exports deal as key meeting due

Türkiye Materials 8 June 2022 07:03
Turkiye pushes for Ukraine grain exports deal as key meeting due

Turkiye has seen “significant progress” in negotiations and is coordinating closely with Russia and Ukraine to agree on a plan that would restart grain exports from Ukrainian ports, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said, even as conflict rages elsewhere in the country, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.

Turkiye is involved in efforts by the United Nations to reach an agreement on a plan that would open a safe shipping corridor to address a global food crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion in February which halted Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports.

Akar’s remarks came a day after reports suggested Ankara and Moscow had reached a tentative deal to restart shipments of Ukraine’s agricultural products, but Ukraine has yet to endorse the plan.

The issue of blocked grain will be on the agenda on Wednesday during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Turkiye .

Turkiye is said to have offered military help to clear mines off the key Black Sea port of Odessa and escort grain ships.

Akar said the four sides are working out how mines floating off the port of Odessa and elsewhere along Ukraine’s coast will be cleared and who will do it, and who would safeguard the corridor.

“We are making efforts to conclude this as soon as possible,” he told reporters in embargoed remarks after a Cabinet meeting late on Monday.

The parties are willing to resolve the issue, but mutual trust remains a sticking point, Akar said. “Everybody wants to be sure of certain things. We are working to establish such trust.”

“A lot of progress has been made on this issue” and technical planning continues, the minister said.