The foreign ministers of Ukraine and Turkey emphasized the importance of renewing the Black Sea agreement on Friday (25/8). This agreement had been halted after Russia withdrew last month, as other solutions for importing Ukrainian grain were deemed suboptimal.
A deal mediated by Turkey and the United Nations last year had allowed for the safe export of Ukrainian grain to the Black Sea. Ankara has been trying to persuade Moscow to rejoin this agreement.
Earlier this month, Ukraine announced the establishment of a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea to release cargo ships trapped in its ports since Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The first ship to use this corridor arrived in Istanbul last week.
During a press conference in Kiev, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan stated that the renewal of the grain agreement is a priority for Ankara and that Russia should participate in an agreement that can move forward.
“Reviving this initiative is a priority for Turkey… I hope we will achieve successful results,” he said, adding that various alternative solutions would not be effective in replacing the agreement.
“I have believed from the beginning that Russia must be brought back into this matter,” Fidan further added.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned that Kiev is exploring alternative routes, but the Black Sea grain agreement is the optimal solution.
“We are working on alternative routes, but objectively, using the Black Sea route is the best solution from all perspectives,” he said.
“We will be able to significantly expand grain transportation through land corridors, but the Black Sea blockade must be ended,” Kuleba concluded.