Ukraine has agreed to sell grain to Turkey at a 25% discount, according to Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişci.
Ankara has been coordinating closely with Moscow and Kiev to reach an agreement to resume shipments of Ukrainian agricultural products from Odessa, the country’s major Black Sea port.
- The plan, backed by the United Nations, is expected to open a safe shipping corridor amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, to address the growing global food crisis.
Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the four parties were working out a plan on clearing mines floating off the coast of Odessa and elsewhere along Ukraine’s coast, as well as on safeguarding the shipping corridor.
“A lot of progress has been made on this issue,” and technical planning continues, he said, adding that the parties were “making efforts to conclude this as soon as possible.”
Ankara has reportedly offered military help to clear mines off the coast of Odessa and to escort grain ships, while Kiev has raised concerns that removing defenses could leave the port open to Russian attacks.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would ensure the safe export of Ukrainian grain through Black Sea ports controlled by Russia. His words sent global grain prices, which had previously soared, lower, to April levels.
Western states have repeatedly accused Russia of impeding exports, but the Kremlin has stated that the ships carrying Ukrainian grain are unable to leave port due to mines placed in the area by Ukrainian forces.