NYT: Ukraine agreed to partially de-mine its ports as part of a grain agreement The grain export agreement implies that part of the minefields will be removed from Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea. As reported in Kyiv, it will be exported through the ports of Odessa, Yuzhny and Chernomorsk
Ukraine, within the framework of an agreement on the removal of grain stuck in the country's territory, agreed to partially clear its ports in the Black Sea, reports The New York Times with reference to three sources.
Part of the minefields will be removed from the ports. According to the interlocutors, the deal implies that the Ukrainian fleet and coast guard will ensure the passage of ships with grain to international waters. The ships will be controlled by foreign crews who will have to bring the ships to Istanbul.
A coordination center will be established in the city, and Turkish representatives will ensure that ships are checked “to assure Russia” that they are not carrying weapons.
Ukraine and Western countries accuse Russia of preventing the export of grain, millions of tons of which from the beginning of the Russian military operation accumulated on Ukrainian territory. According to various estimates, this is from 5 to 25 million tons. Moscow denies the accusations, arguing that deliveries are impossible due to the fault of Kyiv, which mined the ports.
In early June, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Security Adviser Peter Adams said it could take months to clear key Ukrainian ports to make them safe for shipping. At the end of May, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that UN Secretary General António Guterres is discussing port demining with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, which acts as an intermediary.
On July 13, a meeting of the Russian and Ukrainian delegations for the export of grain was held in Istanbul, Turkey and the UN took part in it. As stated in Ankara, the parties agreed to establish a coordination center in Istanbul, where their representatives will be located. Moscow and Kiev also agreed on technical issues, such as joint control at port exits and at points of arrival. The press service of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the grain export agreement will be signed on Friday, July 22.
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