Istanbul Grain Deal
On July 22, Russia, Turkiye, Ukraine, and the UN signed a deal in Istanbul to resume grain exports through Ukrainian ports and clear the way for Russian food and fertilizers to access global markets, in a bid to stabilize surging food prices worldwide amid sanctions on Russia.

Grain Talks Parties in General Agreement That Shipping Routes Not Be Used to Send Arms: Russian MoD

© Sputnik /  / Go to the mediabankA truck unloads grain at JSC "Melitopol elevator" in Melitopol, Ukraine
A truck unloads grain at JSC Melitopol elevator in Melitopol, Ukraine - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.07.2022
Representatives from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations met in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss a plan to ensure the safe passage of cargo ships loaded with Ukrainian grain at Black Sea ports. The Turkish Defense Ministry indicated that the parties had agreed to set up an Istanbul-based coordination center.
Russia's proposals at Wednesday's grain talks in Istanbul have received "general support" from other parties to the negotiations, and work on a finalized document on the agreement, dubbed the "Black Sea Initiative," is expected to be wrapped up in the near future, Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov has indicated.

"Russia has proposed measures aimed at ensuring the transportation of foodstuffs of foreign states, including by Russia's partners, in a manner that excludes the use of these logistics chains for the supply of weapons or military equipment to the Kiev regime, and prevents provocations. The proposals put forth by the Russian Federation have received general support from other participants of the consultations. In the near future, work on the creation of a final document on the Black Sea Initiative will be completed," Konashenkov said in a statement Friday.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters Wednesday that a final document on the grain issue is expected to be signed next week, with Turkish media indicating that a coordination center under the auspices of the UN would be established in Istanbul to ensure the safe transport of grains and other agricultural products across the Black Sea.
	Grain harvestig in Donetsl People's Republic - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.07.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Parties to Grain Talks Agree to Set Up Coordination Center in Istanbul, Turkish MoD Says
According to the Yeni Safak newspaper, the preliminary agreement includes a provision under which Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish representatives would monitor ports from which grain exports take place, and observe transportation directly from aboard ships leaving Ukrainian ports until their passage to Istanbul. The newspaper further indicated that an agreement had been reached regarding the demining of Ukraine's ports, with Ukraine tasked with dealing with this problem.
On Thursday, a source familiar with the negotiations told Sputnik that the next round of talks on the grain issue will likely take place either July 20 or July 21.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Wednesday's talks "substantive," and characterized them as a "ray of hope" that the issue would be resolved soon.
The UN has spent months calling for urgent action on the matter of the export of Ukrainian foodstuffs, fearing that the lack of Ukrainian wheat, other grains, sunflower and fertilizers on the world market would leave nations in the Global South with insufficient reserves of foodstuffs, resulting in hunger, famine and mass unrest.
Grain crops harvesting - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.07.2022
Istanbul Grain Deal
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The US and its allies have blamed Russia for the crisis, claiming that Moscow is deliberately blocking shipments to corner the market and increase prices for its own wheat and fertilizers. Moscow has dismissed the allegations, pointing to Western sanctions on Russian agricultural exports, as well as the Ukrainian military's decision to mine the Black Sea coast this spring, threatening commercial cargoes in the process.
Leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa -a region particularly dependent on Russian and Ukrainian agricultural commodities, have called on the West to lift sanctions to avoid exacerbating potential food shortages. Last month, African Union President Macky Sall warned that sanctions on Russian foodstuffs and fertilizers threaten to undermine the continent's food security.
On Friday, Reuters reported that the European Commission would propose changes to its sanctions against Russia to avoid risks of hampering the country's food exports, but indicated that Brussels was also planning new restrictions targeting machinery, chemicals and the gold trade. Developing nations aren't the only ones threatened by the sanctions war. In May, German media warned that German farmers were expected to lose up to 3 million tons of harvest due to the EU's Ukraine-related fertilizer sanctions.
Granular potash fertilizer. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.06.2022
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