By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News, July 23, 2022
On Friday, July 22, agreements on the creation of a corridor for the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea were officially signed in Istanbul by representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations. In Kyiv, officials announced that they would be able to quickly export about 20 million tons of grain. Moscow also achieved its goals: on Friday, a memorandum was signed on the need to “lift various restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers.”
At the same time, the main beneficiary seems to be the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who now intends to take up the reconciliation of russia and Ukraine with renewed vigor. In the evening of July 21, the office of the Turkish president had announced the coming signature.
On Friday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan felt like a real triumph. “It has been a long and difficult journey, thank you to everyone for your assistance in this work,” he said at a ceremony at Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace, thanking the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky, for their efforts.
The export of Ukrainian grain will be carried out through the ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny. Control over them remains with Kyiv and the agreements do not provide for the presence of other vessels in them, except for those that will ensure the safe transportation of cargo.
The task of ensuring security in the corridors is entrusted to Kyiv. Control over the three ports also remains with the Ukrainian side, while, as Sergey Shoigu promised, the Russian Federation “will not use” the fact that they will be opened. Warships, aircraft and drones will be prohibited from approaching the corridors.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who personally attended the ceremony in Istanbul, addressed the negotiators with words of gratitude: “You overcame obstacles and left aside differences in order to pave the way for an initiative that will serve common interests. The promotion of human well-being was the driving force behind these negotiations.” Later, Mr. Guterres’ office said that the UN General Secretary considers Friday’s deal his most significant achievement in his current post.
On July 13, a meeting of military delegations of the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and UN representatives on the export of Ukrainian grain ended in Istanbul. The Russian side presented proposals for the export of grain from the Black Sea ports. Deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary General Farhan Haq called these negotiations “positive”.
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