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Turkey says Ukraine grain ships could avoid mines; Russia offers safe passage

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Unity N, a cargo carrying over 71,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn, is moored after loading in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania.

TURKEY,UN: Russia on Wednesday said it has offered “safe passage” for Ukraine grain shipments from Black Sea ports but is not responsible for establishing the corridors and Turkey suggested that ships could be guided around sea mines.

Ukrainian grain shipments have stalled since Russia’s invasion and ports blockade, stoking global prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer. The United Nations is trying to broker a deal to resume Ukraine exports and Russian food and fertilizer exports, which Moscow says are harmed by sanctions.

“We are not responsible for establishing safe corridors. We said we could provide safe passage if these corridors are established,” Russia U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said.

“It’s obvious it’s either de-mine the territory, which was mined by the Ukrainians, or ensure that the passage goes around those mines,” he told reporters.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier on Wednesday said it would “take some time” to de-mine Ukraine’s ports but a safe sea corridor could be established in areas without mines under a U.N. proposal. Ankara was still awaiting Moscow’s reaction to the plan, he said.

“Since the location of the mines is known, certain safe lines would be established at three ports,” Cavusoglu said. He said commercial ships, using guidance of Ukrainian vessels as detailed in the plan, “could thus come and go safely to ports without a need to clear the mines.” – JAPAN TODAY


Friday, June 17, 2022 – 01:00

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