Ukraine grain exports could be unlocked in 'days', says Russia

Moscow will not take advantage of de-mined ports in war-torn country, says Russian defence minister



UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar attend a signing ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar attend a signing ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters

By AFP

Published: Fri 22 Jul 2022, 8:00 PM

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that conditions were in place to unlock grain exports from Ukraine in the "next few days" and promised Moscow would not take advantage of de-mined Ukrainian ports.

"Today we have all the prerequisites and all the solutions for this process to begin in the next few days," Shoigu said after signing a landmark deal with the United Nations and Turkey on resuming grain shipments.

"We are talking not only about the beginning of the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports, but also, of course, work on agricultural products, fertiliser from Russian ports," he said in televised remarks, adding that Russia formally pledged not to take advantage of de-mined Ukrainian ports.

Meanwhile, the UK government congratulated Turkey and the UN for brokering a deal to resume grain exports, but said the onus lay with Russia to honour its promises.

"(Russian President Vladimir) Putin's barbaric attack on Ukraine has meant some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world are at risk of having nothing to eat," Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

"Now this agreement must be implemented, and we will be watching to ensure Russia's actions match its words."


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