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The Istanbul Agreement on unblocking Ukrainian ports for the grain export: what’s in it for Ukraine?

published 22 July 2022 20:45

Unblocking the Black Sea ports, gives Ukrainian farmers the opportunity to export their products, get paid, and sow wheat in one month period.

The Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mykola Solskyi commented during national TV marathon "Edyni Novyny" what the Istanbul Agreement on unblocking Ukrainian ports means for the grain export between Ukraine, Turkey and the UN, and what he makes of it.

"It was crucially important. Due to the blockade of the ports, our farmers received less money than they ever did because of the logistics price. Exporting Ukrainian grain to the borders of Poland, Baltic countries, Romania and other ports was and remains very expensive," emphasized the Minister.

However, he added that these routes will remain and will be developed, because we need to have a solid alternative.

Since the ports were unblocked, Ukrainian farmers are able to export millions of tons of harvest, with harvesting season underway, to prevent famine. They will receive money, and just in one month they will be able to sow wheat again, noted Mykola Solskyi.

Minister Solskyi underlined that the Agreement is a result of the significant work of everyone involved in it, from the country's leadership to negotiators, including the military and beyond. And it will produce a substantial result.

"The agreement is concluded entirely on Ukrainian terms - the same way we liberated the Black Sea and the north of Ukraine with the military," the Minister said.

According to the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov, three ports, which are "Odesa", "Chornomorsk" and "Pivdennyi", will be unblocked simultaneously.

A Joint Coordination Center will be established under the auspices of the UN, and will include representatives of the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, the United Nations, and the Russian Federation, which have provided guarantees regarding the safety of vessels transporting grain and food products from Ukrainian ports.

"In order to comply with the agreements, Turkey will create Inspection Groups from representatives of all parties, which will ensure the inspection of cargo and personnel going to or leaving Ukrainian ports. The inspection will take place exclusively in harbors, at the entrance and exit of the Turkish Straits. A joint inspection will protect our ports from the entry of "Trojan horses" under the guise of civilian vessels," Oleksandr Kubrakov explained.

Minister Kubrakov stressed that all activities and control in Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi will be carried out under the authority and responsibility of Ukraine. Meaning the control over Ukrainian ports remains entirely with the Ukrainian side. The movement of no ships, except those designated to ensure the export of grain and related food products is not foreseen.

The document will be valid for 120 days as of the date of signing, and may be extended for the same period unless one of the parties notifies of the intention to terminate its validity.

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