Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that his country’s ships in Ukrainian ports are not facing problems after Russia’s withdrawal from the grain shipment agreement and that it will continue to leave there.
This came in a press statement he made on Tuesday evening after his participation in an event in the capital, Ankara, on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the outbreak of the Algerian liberation revolution against the French colonizer.
Akar warned that the continued suspension of grain shipments could lead to starvation and price hikes in developing countries and thus political chaos.
He added that Turkey was and still is doing what it takes to resume work on the grain agreement, pointing out that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will continue to hold phone talks in this regard with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky.
Akar indicated that he also held telephone talks with his Russian counterpart on Monday and Tuesday, in addition to similar contacts with the Ukrainian Defense and Infrastructure Ministers.
He stated that his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, will hold talks with the relevant authorities in his country, in light of the information he provided, indicating that Ankara is waiting for a response from the Russians during the next two days.
In response to a question about the fate of ships loaded with grain in Ukrainian ports following Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement, Akar said that the ships that left Ukrainian ports as of Monday will continue their way.
With regard to the Turkish ships in the Ukrainian ports, Akar said that they do not face any problems in leaving those ports, stressing that they will continue to leave there.
And on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the suspension of the movement of ships through the safe passage designated under the Black Sea Initiative for the transport of grain, “due to its use by Ukraine in conducting combat operations against Russia.”
Last July 22, Istanbul witnessed the signing of the “Document on the Safe Shipping Initiative for Grain and Foodstuffs from Ukrainian Ports” between Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations.
The agreement included securing exports of grain stuck in the Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea (Eastern Europe) to the world to address the global food shortage crisis, which threatens a humanitarian catastrophe.