Wednesday, 10 August, 2022

Russia eyes 'final document soon' on Ukraine grain exports

MOSCOW: Russia's defence ministry said Friday that a final document designed to unblock grain exports from Ukrainian ports will be ready soon, following negotiations with Kyiv in Turkey this week, reports AFP.

Soon the work on creating a final document on the 'Black Sea initiative' will be completed, the defence ministry's spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said on state television.

The Istanbul talks were held on Wednesday and involved UN and Turkish officials. They were the first direct talks between Moscow and Kyiv since March designed to relieve a global food crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to send troops to Ukraine in February has disrupted the export of grain form Ukrainian ports, worsening a food crisis around the world.

Ukraine is one of the world's largest wheat exporters.

Konashenkov said Moscow's proposals had largely been supported by the participants of the consultations.

He did not provide any details but said the proposals were designed to ensure the transportation of food to foreign states, including to Russian partners.

He also said Moscow wanted to prevent the shipping routes to be used for the supply of weapons and military equipment to Kyiv.

The Istanbul talks came with Putin due to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Iran next week.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called the direct negotiations a ray of hope to ease human suffering and alleviate hunger around the world.