The next round of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine begins on Wednesday July 13 in Istanbul. The main issue is the export of Ukrainian grain.
The talks will be mediated by the UN, which gives hope that some kind of agreement will be reached. It is planned that the delegations of the Russian Federation and Ukraine will spend two days in a government building on the banks of the Bosphorus.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the day before that the main issue on the agenda is the export of Ukrainian grain awaiting shipment in ports. The Russian Federation confirmed the fact of the meeting. She stressed that she wants to maintain “the ability to control and inspect ships in order to avoid arms smuggling.” The Ukrainian delegation expressed the hope that, under the auspices of the UN, the negotiations would get off the ground.
As of the beginning of this month, 22 million tons of grain are blocked in Ukraine. Before the war, the country supplied approximately 30% of grain to Europe, another 30% to North Africa and 40% to Asia. The continuation of the blockade will disrupt food supply chains to the world market and cause starvation in many countries. This is tirelessly repeated by the staff of the UN World Food Program.
With the established 30-degree heat, last year’s grain threatens to deteriorate. In addition, difficulties were added with the beginning of the sowing campaign. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, about a quarter of the grain farmland turned out to be unusable.
Currently, more than 130 ships loaded with Ukrainian grain are waiting to pass at the entrance to the Romanian Sulina Canal. Ukrainian shipping magazine. The congestion is connected with the activation of shipping for the export of Ukrainian grain through Romanian terminals. Navigation is also complicated by the fact that the Sulina Canal is one-way, so ships can wait for weeks to pass.
“Unloading” the canal can be helped by opening a passage for ships through the mouth of Bystroe after the liberation of Zmeiny Island. However, shipping through it still will not be able to provide Ukraine with even a part of the exports that were previously carried out through ports. The depth of the mouth does not allow the passage of large dry cargo ships with grain.