Ukraine and Russia signed separate agreements with Turkey and the UN this Friday that allow the export of around 25 million Ukrainian grains embargoed at 80 Black Sea ports. The deal had been in talks for two months.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres argued that the agreement would “help stabilize global food prices and provide relief to developing countries, those on the brink of bankruptcy, the most vulnerable and those on the brink of hunger”. Opening of the document signing ceremony.
“Today there is a beacon in the Black Sea. A beacon of hope. A beacon of possibility. Relief in a world that needs it more than ever,” he said.
The UN chief praised Ukraine and Russia for reaching an agreement over obstacles and thanked Turkey for its mediation and participation.
In a ceremony held at the Dolmabahçe Palace in the Turkish city of Istanbul, Turkey and the UN signed two documents – as Ukraine refused to sign the same document as Russia – to bring the agreement into force four times. Months, however, are renewable.
As already agreed, after two months of negotiations, the document will create a control center in Istanbul, headed by representatives of the parties involved: Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish and UN. Establishing a schedule for the rotation of ships in the Black Sea.
The agreement also means that ships carrying grain will be inspected to ensure they are not carrying weapons to Ukraine. These inspections are carried out at the ports of Istanbul on departure and arrival of ships.
The documents were signed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar each signed an agreement with similar texts.
Acknowledging that it was “not easy” to sign the documents, Erdogan said he hoped the deal “reinforces hope to end this war” nearly five months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but the Russian invasion and naval blockade of its ports that began on February 24 has halted exports.
Some grain is transported to Europe by rail, road and river, but prices for these essential foods have risen and many developing countries are at risk of famine.
The agreement provides for the safe passage of ships, to be respected by both parties, and the establishment of a control center in Istanbul with representatives from the UN, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. .