Ukraine in Talks with Turkey and UN on Grain Exports

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday that Ukraine, Turkey, and the United Nations (UN) are in talks to secure guarantees for grain exports from Ukrainian ports. 

“Talks are in fact going on now with Turkey and the UN and our representatives who are responsible for the security of the grain that leaves our ports,” Zelenskyy said

“This is a very important thing that someone guarantees the security of ships for this or that country – apart from Russia, which we do not trust. We, therefore, need security for those ships which will come here to load foodstuffs,” Zelenskyy added. 

According to Zelenskyy, Ukraine was also in talks “directly” with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the issue, and the UN was “playing a leading role, not as a moderator.” 

Earlier, Ukraine, one of the world’s leading grain exporters, accused Russia of blocking its ships’ movement stalling 22 million tons of grain, with a further harvest of about 60 million tons expected in the autumn. 

Meanwhile, Russia denied blocking any Ukrainian ships’ movement of grain, claiming that Ukraine’s mining operations in its ports were causing the lack of ships’ movement. 

Previously, Ukraine also accused Russia of stealing grain from its warehouses and shipping them out to other countries or to Russia or Russian-occupied areas. 

On Monday, a Turkish official said Turkey was investigating a Ukrainian claim that a Russian-flagged cargo ship on its Black Sea coast was carrying stolen grain. 

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