Ukraine said on Wednesday that no concrete progress had been made on the issue of grain blocked in its ports following the Russian invasion, after Ankara’s optimistic statements.
“No concrete agreement has been concluded so far on the organization of negotiations with Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN,” said Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for Ukrainian diplomacy, on Twitter.
“Consultations are ongoing,” added Nikolenko.
Previously, the Turkish Defense Minister had announced the holding “in the coming weeks” in Turkey of a quadripartite meeting with representatives of the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine.
Ankara welcomed a “first concrete advance” on this dossier after discussions between the Turkish and Russian delegations in Moscow.
“A few hours after a long meeting, the Turkish freighter [Azov Concord]which had been waiting for several days, has left” Mariupol, indicated the Turkish minister in a statement, when millions of tons of cereals cannot currently be exported due to the blockade of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, according to Kiev.
This was the first foreign ship to leave the port in southeastern Ukraine, controlled by Russian-speaking separatist forces and the Russian army since May, the Ankara statement said.
However, the Russian Defense Minister, in a statement published shortly before, did not refer to any significant progress towards the unblocking of Ukrainian ports.
The UN has been negotiating for several weeks with Moscow, Kiev and Ankara an agreement that would allow the safe departure of cereals from Ukraine, and that would also guarantee the access of Russian agricultural products, including fertilizers, to the international market.
The conclusion of an agreement would allow a reduction in the prices of products and alleviate the food crisis in the world, which has worsened following the Russian invasion.
Kiev fears an attack from Russia on its Black Sea coast, and when Moscow forces, in support of Russian-speaking separatists, already control a large part of southern Ukraine, including the entire shores of the Sea of Azov.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, was condemned by the international community in general, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia that affect practically all sectors, from banking to sports.