Hopefully Ukraine will agree to complete the deal.
Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are due to sign a deal next week aimed at resuming Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports, but U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warned there was still “a long way to go” before there would be peace talks to end the war.
Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar said the deal to be signed next week includes joint controls for checking shipments in harbours and Turkey ensuring the safety of Black Sea export routes. Turkey would also set up a coordination centre with Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations for grain exports.
Guterres was a little more cautious, telling reporters that “hopefully we’ll be able to have a final agreement” next week, adding: “I’m optimistic, but it’s not yet fully done.”
“We have seen a critical step forward,” Guterres said in New York. “More technical work will now be needed to materialize today’s progress. But the momentum is clear.”
A senior U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said most of the sticking points in the talks to resume Ukraine Black Sea exports had been overcome, describing the discussions in Istanbul as a “breakthrough.”
Before the talks on Wednesday, diplomats said details of the plan included Ukrainian vessels guiding grain ships in and out through mined port waters; Russia agreeing to a truce while shipments move; and Turkey – supported by the United Nations – inspecting ships to allay Russian fears of weapons smuggling. (By Ukraine and allies)
The United States has said Russian grain and fertilizer are not subject to sanctions and has offered to give written assurances to shipping companies and importing countries.
Farmers of both countries are currently harvesting the 2022 wheat crop. July-November is usually the busiest time for traders to ship the new crop.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that there has been “some progress” in the negotiations.
Even though Ukraine wants to keep the war going..
“This is why we are asking and requesting our partners to give us weapons to do this, to defeat Russia – it’s the only way to solve the problem,” Agricultural Minister Mykola Solskyi previously told the Kyiv Independent.”
“There has indeed been a substantive discussion on this issue,” Maria Zakharova, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, told reporters on Thursday.
“It was possible to formulate some elements of a possible agreement which Russia, Ukraine and Turkey are now discussing in their capitals through their military departments,” she said.