Russia, Ukraine agree on technical aspects of grain corridor at Istanbul meet
Russia and Ukraine have agreed on the establishment of secure corridors for exporting the Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea, the Turkish defense minister has said, adding that the sides will sign an agreement during the next week’s meeting again in Türkiye, announcing that a months-long impasse was broken at the Istanbul meeting on July 13.
“A consensus was reached for the reconvening of Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Türkiye next week. All the details will be reviewed, and our works will be put under signature during this meeting next week,” Akar said in a statement on late July 13.
Akar made this statement following a meeting between the military representatives of Türkiye, Russia and Ukraine with the participation of the U.N. in Istanbul. It was a first face-to-face meeting of the two warring sides in months and devoted to resolving the impasse over the stalled Ukrainian export of millions of tons of grain in silos and ships in the Odesa Port.
Akar described the talks as positive and constructive and informed that the parties agreed the establishment of a coordination center in Istanbul with the participation of all the parties. Russian and Ukrainian sides also agreed to joint control of the ships in both entering and exiting the ports as well as on the maritime security, the minister stressed.
“We see that the parties are willing to solve this problem. We will try to yield results by continuing to work in coordination with the U.N.,” the minister said. Akar also thanked the Russian and Ukrainian delegations for their willingness.
There are concerns that the continued blockage of the Ukrainian export of its grain to the world markets could lead to a food crisis in the most underdeveloped parts of the continent.
UN hails the deal
In the meantime, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the initial agreement reached between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul talks. Informing the correspondents about the meeting, Guterres said “In a world darkened by global crises, today, at last, we have a ray of hope.”
“A ray of hope to ease human suffering and alleviate hunger around the world. A ray of hope to support developing countries and the most vulnerable people. A ray of hope to bring a measure of much-needed stability to the global food system,” he stated.
He thanked Türkiye for its “outstanding efforts” convening the talks and saluted all participants for their work “to secure an agreement for our common humanity.”
“Today is an important and substantive step. A step on the way to a comprehensive agreement. We must also do more for struggling people and developing countries getting pummeled by a food, energy and financial crises not of their making.”