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Turkiye brokers deal with Ukraine, Russia and UN to resume grain exports

Turkiye said that it has managed to broker a deal with Ukraine, Russia and the UN to resume exports of Ukrainian grains after it was blocked by Russia in the wake of invasion. The move is expected to bring major relief to world economies whose grain imports were largely dependent on Kyiv.

On Wednesday, Turkiye’s defence minister Hulusi Akar said that all the parties would meet again next week to work out the modalities like joint controls for checking grains in ports and Ankara ensuring the safety of Black Sea export routes for Ukrainian grain, The Guardian reported.

He added that Turkey would also set up a coordination centre with Ukraine, Russia and the UN for grain exports.

Much of Ukrainian grains are exported through the country’s Black Sea ports. But they have been blockaded by Russia, including the crucial hub of Odesa, following the invasion.

Confirming the development, Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, on Twitter said, “Its task will be to carry out general monitoring and coordination of safe navigation in the Black Sea.”

In his daily address, Ukraine’s president Zelensky was quoted as saying, “We are indeed making significant efforts to restore the supply of food to the world market. And I am grateful to the United Nations and Turkey for their respective efforts.”

Lauding the three countries for their coordination for their efforts toward restoring grain supplies, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that a “critical step forward” had been taken to allow the “safe and secure export” of millions of tonnes of grain via the Black Sea.

He, however, emphasised that no formal agreement has yet been signed between Russia and Ukraine.

Also read | Another casualty of Russia-Ukraine war: ESA-ROSCOSMOS’s Mars life-hunting mission

“In a world darkened by global crises, today, at last, we have a ray of hope,” said Guterres, briefing correspondents at UN Headquarters in New York.

“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.”

For several weeks, the Türkiye government has been working with the UN to arrive at a deal for weeks, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, which triggered the price rise of several major commodities like grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer.

(With inputs from agencies)

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