Deal reached in Ukraine grain talks - Turkish defence minister
Talks between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and U.N. officials on resuming Black Sea exports of Ukraine grain resulted in an agreement to form a coordination centre in order to ensure the safety of routes, the Turkish defence minister said on Wednesday.
In a statement, Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said an agreement would be signed next week when all parties meet again, adding the parties had agreed on joint controls for checking grains at harbours.
Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish military delegations met with U.N. officials in Istanbul on Wednesday for talks on resuming exports of Ukrainian grain from the major Black Sea port of Odesa as a global food crisis worsens.
More than 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain are stuck in silos in Odesa and dozens of ships have been stranded due to Russia's blockade, part of what Moscow calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine but which Kyiv and the West say is an unjustified war of aggression.
The talks, in Istanbul between Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish and U.N. officials, took place behind closed doors at an undisclosed location.
Ukraine's president also said in a video message on Wednesday that there was "progress" on an agreement to resume grain exports blocked by Russia.
It raised hopes of an end to a standoff that has exposed millions to the risk of starvation.
"We are indeed putting a significant effort into resuming the supply of food to the world market. And I am grateful to the United Nations and Turkey for their respective efforts," Zelenskiy said.
"The success of this story is necessary not only for our state, but without exaggeration for the whole world. If the Russian threat to navigation in the Black Sea can be removed, it will alleviate the global food crisis," he added.