The four-way talks on the grain export from Ukrainian ports between Moscow and Kiev that also involved Turkey and the UN ended in Istanbul. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar claimed that the Russian and Ukrainian military delegations had agreed to establish a joint coordination center on grain exports in Istanbul that will include representatives from all parties.
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said In a brief statement that its representatives prepared a package of proposals regarding the export of the Ukrainian grain that would be discussed at today’s meeting in Istanbul.
According to the Turkish official, the sides reached an agreement on on technical issues such as joint controls at the destination points and the safety of navigation on the transfer routes. At the same time the delegations of Russia and Ukraine are set to review all the details once again in another meeting next week.
The parties were expected to make any breakthrough in the negotiation process after the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba claimed that Kiev and Moscow were “two steps away” from reaching an agreement on grain exports as well as after several military developments on the front lines.
Kiev and Western nations have accused Moscow of preventing Ukrainian grain shipments from leaving the Black Sea ports. Russia has denied such accusations. In turn, the Ukrainian side mined the waters threatening the navigation in the area.
Amid ongoing accusations against Moscow for allegedly using the food crisis as a weapon, Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Russian military officials have constantly declared that Russia was not impeding exports, blaming the West for its “cynical attitude” towards the food supply to developing nations, which have been the most affected by the soaring prices.
In late June, Russian forces left Zmeiy Island after another attack of Ukrainian forces on their military positions. The Russian military claimed that the withdrawal from the island was a step towards Kiev aimed at declaring the Russian readiness to support the international efforts to secure the grain export from the Ukrainian ports. In turn, Kiev made no efforts to demine the area.
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