WSJ: Istanbul has previously agreed on the unblocking of three Ukrainian ports

Kostia Andreikovets

In Istanbul, at the negotiations on the unblocking of the export of Ukrainian grain, which took place on July 13, the delegations of Ukraine, the UN, Turkey and Russia preliminarily agreed on the unblocking of three Ukrainian ports.

This was reported by The Wall Street Journal with reference to a source familiar with the negotiations.

The mechanism is as follows: grain can be sent from three ports in convoys accompanied by Ukrainian warships. Protection will be in place on their route, demining will be carried out in part. The Turkish Navy will check empty ships arriving at Ukrainian ports. The UN will establish a command and control center in Istanbul to monitor the level of threats to ships.

According to Forbes, the parties agree on the unblocking of the Odesa, Black Sea and "South" ports.

  • Since the beginning of the invasion, Russian troops have been blocking exports from Ukrainian ports, as a result of which products have to be exported by rail and road. Western partners offered to build granaries near the border, negotiate with Russia, but they are not ready for military unblocking of roads. Meanwhile, Russia continues to steal Ukrainian grain, exporting it to Crimea, Syria and Turkey, as evidenced by numerous journalistic investigations.
  • On July 5, Erdogan announced intensified negotiations on unblocking grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea. He expects progress within ten days. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, warned against hoping for a quick solution to the problem, as the negotiations are focused on the routes and safety of ships.
  • The day before, Turkish President Recep Erdogan had a telephone conversation with Putin. He declared that it was time for a "grain corridor". The Russian Federation stated that they would "continue the exchange of views" on this matter. On the same day, July 11, Erdogan spoke with Zelensky. The conversation was devoted to the war and the problem of the grain export blockade.
  • On July 13, quadrilateral negotiations were held in Turkey regarding the safe export of Ukrainian grain from ports. During this meeting, the parties agreed to create a coordination center in Istanbul. The delegations of Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN will meet again next week. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced a "big step forward".