Discussions aimed at putting an end to Ukrainian grain exports by Russia in the Black Sea have struck deal, says Turkey.
It brings hope for an end to the standstill which has led to millions of people at risk of starvation.
Hulusi Akar, Turkey’s defence minister, has said that both parties had agreed on solutions to ensure the safety of shipping routes for grain ships. He also revealed that the agreement would be signed off next week, after discussions are set to take place in Turkey.
António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, described Wednesday’s progress a “critical step forward”. He argued more work needed to be done in order to finalise the deal, which would need “a lot of goodwill and commitments by all parties”.
Ukraine has been capable of sending some of its grains by numerous routes, such as rail and road. A new contemporary route has been able to open via the Danube estuary. However, last month only 2.5 million tonnes were exported, which is a lot less than the average of eight million-tonne before the beginning of the war – currently, millions are waiting in the pork of Odesa in Ukraine.
The Black sea fleet in Russia is revealed to be prohibiting any shipments moving in or out. The BBC has reported staggering evidence that Russian forces have stolen and exported Ukrainian grain. Additional routes have been heavily mined.
This brings optimism for Ukraine about its deal to reopen the Black Sea as President Volodymyr Zelensky, when appearing during his address to the public on Wednesday night, appeared to speak in a positive tone about the ongoing situation.
He said, “The Ukrainian delegation has reported to me that there is progress. In the coming days, we will agree on the details with the UN secretary-general.”
Before the announcements of the progress, it was revealed by diplomats that negotiations included plans for Ukrainian vessels to guide grain ships in and out of mined port waters.
It was also initiated that Russia would need to respect a truce while shipments move and that Turkey which would be supported by the UN – must offer to inspect ships to allay Russian fears of weapons smuggling.
The development of this deal on grain is without a doubt excellent news for millions of people across the globe who depend on exports from Ukraine for their daily bread.
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