Ukraine and Russia to discuss extending Black Sea grain deal

·1 min read
A cargo ship waiting for inspection to enter the Bosphorus Strait, October, 2012
A cargo ship waiting for inspection to enter the Bosphorus Strait, October, 2012

According to CNN, the meeting will be followed by another one next week, to discuss technical terms of the deal’s extension. The announcement was made by Turkey's Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, who expressed optimism that the talks would yield positive results.

Read also: Zelenskyy speaks with China’s Xi, Russia blocking grain corridor, what’s up with agro ban?

Recently, tensions have been rising between Russia and Ukraine over the grain agreement. On April 24, Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of violating the agreement by attacking Sevastopol (in occupied Crimea) with naval drones, allegedly launched from the port of Odesa. Russia, which has routinely sought to undermine the agreement in the past, has warned of a potential threat to the deals’ extension beyond May 18.

Read also: Ukrainian Intelligence rubbishes FSB’s claims of detention of Ukrainian agents in occupied Crimea

In response, Ukrainian Military Intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov denied the accusations, saying that any Ukrainian operations in Crimea are focused on exclusively military targets.

Read also: Russia blocks Black Sea grain agreement – Ukrainian Navy

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has urged the UN to assist in the renewal of the grain agreement. The meeting in Istanbul presents an opportunity to resolve these issues and find a path forward.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine