Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement on the export of grain in Istanbul, averting the threat amid the global food crisis

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The agreement was signed by Moscow and Kyiv on Friday to allow safe grain export and other food products from Ukraine as the world grapples with a growing food crisis.

“Today, a lighthouse appeared on the Black Sea. A beacon of hope, a beacon of opportunity, a beacon of help for a world that needs it more than ever,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters. “The question is not what is good for one side or the other.

“The focus was on what matters most to the people of our world,” he continued. “Let there be no doubt – this is an agreement for the whole world.”

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) before the start of the signing ceremony for the initiative to safely transport grain and food from Ukrainian ports in Istanbul, July 22, 2022.

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) before the start of the signing ceremony for the initiative to safely transport grain and food from Ukrainian ports in Istanbul, July 22, 2022.
(Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

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Officials from RussiaUkraine, Turkey and the United Nations have signed an agreement allowing merchant ships to carry cargo across the Black Sea amid Russia’s deadly war in Ukraine.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this agreement was not easy,” said the head of the UN.

Guterres did not go into details of the agreement, but said that three Ukrainian ports, Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny, would be opened in the Black Sea to allow for “significant volumes” of food exports.

Preliminary talks suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin agree to a ceasefire allow Ukrainian warships to escort merchant ships.

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In this photo provided by the President of Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (center) delivers a speech welcoming the Russian, leftist and Ukrainian delegations ahead of their talks in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

In this photo provided by the President of Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (center) delivers a speech welcoming the Russian, leftist and Ukrainian delegations ahead of their talks in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
(Turkish Presidency via AP)

Ukrainian naval ships will be tasked with combing the waters for explosive mines, a precaution made necessary after a rude 400 mines were launched in the Black Sea Russian troops earlier this year.

Moscow has also accused Kyiv of running its own mines.

Turkey, which played an important role in the export talks, will be responsible for screening all ships to assuage Russia’s concerns about arms smuggling.

The UN will also set up an office in Istanbul to monitor the security situation.

Guterres said the deal “will bring relief to developing countries on the brink of bankruptcy and the most vulnerable on the brink of starvation.”

“This will help stabilize world food prices, which were already at record levels even before the war – a real nightmare for developing countries,” he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined Guterres at the signing ceremony and called on all parties to end the war in Ukraine.

“We saw from the very beginning that there would be no winner in this war,” he said. “Not only parties will suffer, but the whole world.”

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) arrive at a signing ceremony for an initiative to safely transport grain and food from Ukrainian ports in Istanbul, July 22, 2022.

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) arrive at a signing ceremony for an initiative to safely transport grain and food from Ukrainian ports in Istanbul, July 22, 2022.
(Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

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Erdogan said he “sincerely hopes” that the treaty, signed on Friday, will be a “turning point” in the war.

“The war will finally end at the negotiating table,” he added, urging Kyiv and Moscow to resume diplomatic talks.