Russia, Ukraine to discuss grain crisis in Turkey on Wednesday with UN

The grain issue must be resolved under the auspices of the United Nations, Ukraine's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

A view shows barley grain sorting at a grain storage in the Rostov Region, Russia July 6, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)
A view shows barley grain sorting at a grain storage in the Rostov Region, Russia July 6, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday that military delegations from Turkey, Russia and Ukraine will meet with a United Nations delegation to discuss the safe export of Ukrainian grain.

The meeting will take place on July 13, Akar said.

“Military delegations from Turkey, Russia and Ukraine and a United Nations delegation will be conducting talks in Istanbul tomorrow regarding safe transfer of grain waiting in Ukrainian ports to international markets via sea route,” he said.

The talks come at a time of record-high food prices globally, as the war in Ukraine, the world's largest grain supplier, has fueled concerns about food security.

Turkey has played a key role in talks between the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine on a potential Black Sea corridor to export grain from Ukraine.

Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar attends a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 12, 2020.  (credit: REUTERS/FRANCOIS LENOIR)Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar attends a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 12, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/FRANCOIS LENOIR)

Ukraine has struggled to export goods, with many of its ports blocked as war rages along its southern coast. Grain constitutes nearly a fifth of all its exports, official data shows.

Kyiv has accused Moscow of stealing grain from territories seized by Russian forces since their invasion began in late February. The Kremlin, which calls the action a "special military operation," has denied such accusations.

UN chief: "still a way to go"

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that "there is still a way to go" in talks to try and resume Ukraine's Black Sea exports of grain.

"We are working hard indeed, but there is still a way to go," Guterres told reporters. "Many people are talking about it, we prefer to try and do it."

"We are working hard indeed, but there is still a way to go"

Antonio Guterres 

The grain issue must be resolved under the auspices of the United Nations, Ukraine's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

"Ukraine advocates that the issue of unblocking Ukrainian grain be resolved under the auspices of the UN," foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko told Reuters.