Russia, Ukraine to hold next round of talks in Turkey to address grain crisis

Ukrainian farm

Smoke rises from filed in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region on July 4, 2022, due to battle between Russian and Ukrainian troops

Photo : AP

Ankara: Russia and Ukraine will hold the second round of talks in Turkey next week to resolve their dispute over blocked grain exports. The development was confirmed by Hulusi Akar, Turkish minister of defence.

Notably, the first round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials over the issue was held in Istanbul on Wednesday. Turkish military officials and UN envoys also participated in the talks to find a solution for shipping out millions of tons of grains stored in silos in Ukraine.

Ukraine is one of the largest exporters of wheat and grains, including barley and maize. However, shipments across the Black Sea have been blocked by Russian warships and mines planted by Ukraine to prevent Russian attacks.
Also Read: Sergey Lavrov says Russia ready for talks with Kyiv, Ankara about Ukrainian grain; accuses US of ceasing mutual ties.

The impasse over grain exports led to an increase in food prices due to which millions across the world are facing hunger. As per Turkey, its 20 merchant ships are present in the region which could be used to send grains to world markets, reported AFP.

On Tuesday, Russian authorities in Kherson accused Ukrainian troops of burning crops and mining fields. Meanwhile, as per the data released by the US Space agency, 22 percent of Ukraine’s farmland is under Russian control since the February 24 invasion..

Notably, talks were held at the time when there were growing suspicions that Russia is trying to export grain it has stolen from Ukrainian farmers from the areas under its control since February 24. Turkey is using its good relations with Moscow and Kyiv to broker a deal for the safe shipment of grains from the war-torn country.