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Turkish defense ministry announces plans of soonest beginning of export of Ukrainian grain

The joint coordination center in Istanbul, which was set up following last Friday’s agreements on supplies of agricultural products from Ukraine, is taking efforts to begin grain export through the Black Sea as soon as possible, the Turkish defense ministry said on Sunday.

According to the ministry’s tweet, the coordination center is working on ensuring safe shipment of grain to global markets. The first ship with Ukrainian grain is expected to leave Ukrainian ports soon.

According to earlier reports, the coordination center was set up at the Turkish defense ministry’s university in Istanbul’s Levent neighborhood on the European part of the city. According to Turkish media, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine will be represented by servicemen in the ranks of colonels or generals. The United Nations will also commission its representatives. Control over safe navigation from three Ukrainian ports (Odessa, Yuzhny, and Chernomorsk) will be exercised round-the-clock.

A package of documents geared to resolve the problem of food and fertilizer supplies on global markets was signed on July 22 in Istanbul. Under the Russia-UN memorandum, the United Nations undertakes to work toward lifting anti-Russian restrictions hampering exports of agricultural products and fertilizers. Another document envisages a mechanism of exporting grain from Ukraine-controlled Black Sea ports. An agreement between Russia, Turkey and the United Nations provides for the establishment of a four-side coordination center to search ships carrying grain to prevent weapons smuggling and avoid provocations.

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