Ankara, Jun 23 (EFE).- Turkey and the United Kingdom on Thursday stressed the need to establish a system that would allow the tons of grain stuck in Ukraine to leave the war-torn country.
Some 20 million tons of grain deliveries to global markets have been disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, leading to a global surge in food prices.
London warned that if this issue was not resolved by next month, there could be a global famine.
“It’s urgent that action is taken within the next month ahead of the new harvest,” UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said during a joint press conference with Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.
Truss continued to say that Turkey was playing an important role in negotiations aimed at unblocking Ukraine’s wheat and other food exports.
The foreign secretary also accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of “weaponizing hunger” and “using food security as a callous tool of war.”
Cavusoglu, meanwhile, pointed out that if an agreement is reached under the supervision of the United Nations, a safe passage will be created for grain shipments through the Black Sea, adding a command center would be established to oversee the operation in Istanbul.
“The ships that go to the Ukrainian ports will be inspected for weapons,” said the minister, insisting on the need to give Russia guarantees.
Among these guarantees is lifting the sanctions on the Russian banking sector to facilitate the export of fertilizers and cereals from Russia, Cavusoglu reiterated.
The Turkish official said the plan will only work if all parties reach an agreement, hoping for a positive response from Russia. EFE