Turkey and the UN announced that Russia and Ukraine will sign a deal on Friday to reopen Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports, bolstering optimism that a global food crisis exacerbated by the Russian invasion can be addressed.
Both Russia and Ukraine, two of the largest food exporters in the world, sent their respective ministries of infrastructure and defence to Istanbul to take part in a signing ceremony at 13:30 GMT, according to the two parties.
Both Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres were scheduled to attend.
But the conflict in eastern Ukraine didn’t stop, and a presidential adviser in Kyiv declared that the country would only sign parallel agreements on grain exports with the UN, underscoring the country’s long-standing animosity and mistrust with Russia.
Ukraine has promised a quick military response in the event of provocations. Tweets from Mykhailo Podoloyak.
Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, the blockade by Russia’s Black Sea fleet has worsened supply chain disruptions around the world and, along with Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, stoked high inflation in food and energy prices.
The agreement’s complete details weren’t immediately made public. However, according to an unnamed source cited by the Russian state news agency TASS, three Ukrainian ports, including the largest export hub Odesa, will be reopened.