Turkish President Rejep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski on 30 May. The turkish president discussed with his counterparts grain shipments across the Black and Azov seas.
Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN have prepared a roadmap that will ensure the operation of a safe corridor for the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports. This was reported on Thursday by the Anadolu agency, citing diplomatic sources.
Following the negotiations of the Turkish side with representatives from the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the UN, a roadmap has been prepared that will ensure the functionality of the “grain corridor” under the auspices of the world organization.
In the near future, a meeting of the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN will be held in Istanbul to discuss the export of grain from Ukrainian ports. According to the report, the sides plan to create the grain export center in Istanbul which will regulate the interaction between the Russian Federation and Ukraine with the mediation of Turkey in coordination with the UN. The launch of the coordination center in Istanbul will allow 20 million tons of grain to be exported from the ports of Ukraine to the world markets.
Ankara reportedly believes that all major issues can be resolved within a week or two. The position of the Turkish President is welcome because Ankara is trying to get the palm in resolving the military conflict in the center of Europe.
Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said that a contact group on the removal of ships with grain from Ukraine would be established. The group will include representatives of the UN, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Ukraine does not want to see Russian ships in Odesa, and the Russian side is against the supply of weapons to Ukraine through these ports, so Russia will seek guarantees.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented :
«Although the West reminds us very loudly that the grain is not subject to sanctions, they for some reason shamefully keep silent that the ships that carry Russian grain are subject to sanctions: they are not accepted in foreign ports, European ports, they are not insured. And in principle, all the logistical and financial chains that are associated with the supply of grain to the world markets, are under sanctions of our Western colleagues».
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, on the other hand, voiced his position on May 30 at a meeting with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna:
«They are in Russia’s attempts to establish its full authority in the temporarily occupied territories in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. In every missile that flies at this or that city of Ukraine or the object of our infrastructure. That’s all there is to know about the mood of Russia for negotiations. You have to agree that when you want to negotiate, you behave differently. So, Russia can make a hundred statements about how they are open to negotiations, but it’s all a classic KGB disguise – an operation to disguise their real actions.»
The European Union supported Turkey’s and the UN’s mission to create a humanitarian and grain corridor, but EU leaders doubt the success of the initiative.
A week earlier, Putin had discussed these issues with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. He said that all the problems stem from the erroneous economic and financial policies of Western countries and sanctions against Russia. Russia, on the other hand, is ready to facilitate cargo shipments and grain exports from Ukraine and also demands that sanctions be lifted so that it can export fertilizers again.
European countries fail to mediate any steps towards peace in the region.
In turn, Britain and Lithuania proposed their own plan to lift Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain. The countries called to create a naval coalition of the willing and send warships to the Black Sea within an alleged humanitarian mission. LINK
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, says the grain problem is a global challenge. Washington continues to blame Moscow for a global crisis. According to Blinken, several factors have influenced the situation, including the situation in Ukraine:
«As a result, the prices of affordable food products have increased.»
The U.S. blames Russia for the situation. But Russia is also exporting grain. At the same time, Russia’s export potential is 50 million tons for the coming season. This year, according to the estimate of the Ministry of Agriculture, exports will be more than 37 million tons.
The success in negotiations can be seen as a step towards the resolution of the crisis. Since both Russian and Ukrainian presidents recognize the necessity of creating a corridor for the export of grain. A road map has already been developed and the Russian and Ukrainian sides agreed to participate in the 4-party format. Perhaps this map will serve as the first step toward peace talks between the countries, although there is no change in the diplomatic field yet.
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