Turkey and the UN confirm talks with Russia to return to the grain export agreement

Archive - Ukrainian Port of Odessa

Archive – Ukrainian Port of Odessa – Europa Press/Contact/Yulii Zozulia – Archive

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The Turkish government and the United Nations have begun talks with Russia this Sunday so that the country returns to the grain and fertilizer export agreement with Ukraine, which it abandoned this past Saturday after denouncing an attack by kyiv against its ships in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has posted on Twitter that he is in contact with the other parties to the deal to remind them that the initiative now on hold is “for the good of all Humanity”. “Crises can be resolved with good will and dialogue”, he has underlined.

An Ankara government official, on condition of anonymity, has confirmed to Bloomberg that the negotiations will continue on Monday if they do not result in any progress throughout this day.

The same source has stated that “there are reasons for optimism” despite the fact that Russia assured the day before that its withdrawal from the agreement, mediated at the time by Turkey, would have an “indefinite” scope.

The UN Joint Coordination Center had already advanced on Saturday the practical impossibility of continuing with exports after the Russian withdrawal after confirming that “there is no current protocol” for the movement of incoming or outgoing vessels since this Sunday.

The United Nations, the center said in a statement, is “discussing the next steps” after Russia’s decision.

For his part, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, is maintaining “intense contacts” to guarantee the Russian return.

Guterres is “deeply concerned” about the situation, according to his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, in a statement on Sunday, and has set “the goal of ending Russia’s suspension of its participation in the Initiative.”

To this end and to be more focused on this effort, Guterres has decided to delay his departure to Algeria, where he planned to participate in the Arab League Summit, the spokesman said.

The contacts maintained by the UN head are also focused on renewing and fully complying with the Initiative “to facilitate exports of food and fertilizers from Ukraine, as well as to eliminate the obstacles that still exist for Russian food and fertilizer exports.”

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