kyiv and Moscow signed two identical but separate texts, at the request of Ukraine, which refused to initial any document with Russia.
The four delegations met in the grounds of Dolmabahçe Palace, on the banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, in the presence of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as Turkish and Russian Ministers of Defense and the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure.
The ceremony took place under the flags of the protagonists, those of Russia and Ukraine, carefully separated by the blue banners of the UN and the red of Turkey, which has offered itself as a mediator since the start of the invasion. Russian, February 24.
This agreement, fiercely negotiated since April under the leadership of Mr. Guterres, will relieve the countries that depend on the Russian and Ukrainian markets. The two countries together account for 30% of the world wheat trade.
“An important agreement”, according to Zelensky
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, this agreement could allow Ukraine to export its accumulated harvests, which he estimates at 20 million tonnes of grain. He assesses that these reserves have a value
This is another proof that Ukraine can withstand war, said Mr. Zelensky during his daily address. He called Friday’s deal a
important for his country.
– With information from Reuters
The UN boss thanked Russia and Ukraine who have
overcame their differences to make way for an initiative at the service of all.
Now the deal
must be fully implementedhe pointed out.
Mr. Erdogan admitted that he had no
it was not easy to come to this and hoped that the signing of this agreement, which comes nearly five months after the start of the conflict, would
strengthen the hope of ending this war.
Some 25 million tonnes of grain are piled up in Ukrainian silos, while another 47 million people are exposed to
acute hunger since the start of the war, according to the World Food Program (WFP).
A few hours before the ceremony, Ukraine made it clear that it would not sign
no documents with Russia, but only with Turkey and the UN. The Russians have initialed an identical agreement with these two parties.
Mr. Guterres, however, noted the character
unprecedented of this agreement concluded between two countries at war.
Under this agreement,
secure corridors allow the circulation of merchant ships in the Black Sea departing from and arriving at the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Pivdenny and Chornomorsk.
The parties will not carry out any attacks against merchant shipsindicates the text of the agreement.
The negotiators gave up on clearing the Black Sea of mines – mainly laid by the Ukrainians to protect their coasts:
Demining would have taken too longjustified the UN, which specified that
Ukrainian pilots would pave the way for freighters in territorial waters.
Ukraine has suggested that its exports start from three ports – Odessa, Pivdenny and Chornomorsk – and hopes to increase their number in the future.
The agreement will be valid fordays”,”text”:”120days”}}”>120 daysfour months, enough time to get out the 25 million tons piled up in silos in Ukraine as a new harvest approaches.
A Joint Coordination Center (CCC) must be established this weekend in Istanbul with representatives of all parties and the United Nations.
Inspections of ships departing from Ukrainian ports and heading there will take place under the supervision of the CCCin one of the ports of Istanbul, in order to respond to the concerns of Moscow, which wants to be guaranteed that the cargo ships will not bring arms to Ukraine.
A first round of negotiations between military experts from the three countries concerned and the UN took place on July 13 in Istanbul, from which a certain optimism emerged.
Then uncertainty prevailed after demands made by Moscow at the end of the Iran-Russia-Turkey tripartite summit on Tuesday in Tehran.
Russia has finally obtained guarantees that Western sanctions will not apply, either directly or indirectly, to its own exports of agricultural products and fertilizers.
Even though the products [agricoles] Russians are not affected by the sanctions, there are blockages concerning maritime transport, insurance and the banking systemexplained Thursday the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu.
In addition, said a diplomat in New York, the United States has offered
guarantees so that ships of large tonnage could be supplied to Russia to facilitate the export of its cereals and its fertilizers.
Due to the sanctions, international logistics companies that own such buildings are reluctant to work for Moscow.
The United States welcomed the agreement on Thursday and indicated that it wanted
Russia responsible for [sa] Implementation.
But distrust remains in kyiv:
We trust the UN but
not in russiasaid Friday evening the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba.