As we reported yesterday, the Russian Federation and Turkey have negotiated an international corridor to transport Ukrainian grain out to global markets. However, it is clear now that those negotiations did not involve representatives from the Ukrainian government, says President Zelensky.
In a press briefing yesterday, he said: “I was not invited. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has not been invited today,”. According to him, he discussed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among others, the issue of Turkish mediation in the unblocking of Ukrainian ports, but the actual high level talks did not involve a delegation from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry where Russian and Turkish negotiators dominated the scene. That delegation reportedly departed Ukraine for Ankara only yesterday, while the talks were commencing.
“It is important for us that we are ready to produce grain. talked to both Britain and Turkey, Turkey is now finding a format to give us guarantees … I think that’s why they are meeting with the Russians to give Russia guarantees that nothing will happen to their ships. , nevertheless, the details of their meeting are still unknown to me, “Zelensky said.
According to him, Ukraine can export 10 million tons of grain a month through Odessa ports. “If now we have 22-25 million tons blocked there, but in the fall we may already have 75. What will we do? Therefore, we will not be able to do without ports,” Zelensky stressed.
We have learned today, through a statement released by the Turkish Agricultural Ministry, that Ankara plans to buy Ukrainian grain at a 25% discount, a deal made with Russian authorities without Ukrainian input. The Agricultural Ministry cited costs of demining and escorting ships through the Black Sea as justification. However, the Ukrainian government has not made a comment regarding this discount.
As of writing this post, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov reportedly stated that he is open to renewed peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, facilitated by Turkey after successful corridor talks.