By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News, July 21, 2022
Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations will sign an agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain tomorrow, July 22, at 16:30 at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, announced the administration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to Anadolu Agency, the ceremony will be attended by Mr. Erdogan himself and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The Russian and Ukrainian sides, as well as the UN, have not yet commented on the date of signing the agreement.
On July 13, a quadripartite meeting was held with the participation of delegations of the Ministries of Defense of Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, as well as the UN on the transportation of Ukrainian grain. Kiev, following the talks, reported that the export will be carried out through the ports of Odessa, Yuzhny and Chornomorsk. In the future, the number of ports can be expanded. Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 19 thanked Mr. Erdogan for his assistance on the issue of grain exports and noted that the parties “moved forward” in solving this problem.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Istanbul on Thursday evening to take part in negotiations on the export of agricultural products from Ukraine and Russia. This was announced at a briefing by Deputy Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Farhan Haq.
Since the end of last week, Guterres has been in Greece, where he is on vacation, however, according to the office of the Secretary General, he maintains regular telephone contacts with representatives of interested parties. The UN Secretary-General did not rule out that he would go to Istanbul to participate in the final stage of negotiations and the final agreement.
Negotiations on the creation of a grain corridor in the Black sea were held in Istanbul on July 13. They were attended by military delegations of the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and representatives of the UN. The Secretary-General of the world organization said after the meeting that it had taken an important step towards ensuring the safe and reliable export of food from Ukraine through the Black Sea. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Moscow guarantees the unimpeded passage of ships with Ukrainian grain if Kiev clears its ports, and Russia can also ensure the export of goods through the Russian-controlled ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol.
Thanks to this agreement, about 35 million tons of Ukrainian wheat are expected to exit from the Odessa terminal and across the Black Sea. The parties agreed to the proposal to set up a coordination centre in Istanbul, which with the participation of delegates from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations would monitor and trace the route of the outgoing ships. Evidently decisive for the final agreement was the bilateral meeting between the presidents of Turkey and Russia, Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Putin, that took place two days ago in Tehran.
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