The UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric stated Wednesday that they are “working in close cooperation” with Turkey to assist grain exports from Ukraine.
Dujarric said at a news conference that the comments made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to get grain out of Ukraine without demining “were extremely positive.”
When asked by the Anadolu Agency (AA) if the UN established safe corridors without demining the water around Ukraine’s ports in the Black Sea, Dujarric said: “I can tell you on that that we have been in very close contact, are working in close cooperation with the Turkish authorities on this issue.”
“Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres) is extremely grateful for the cooperation we’ve had from President (Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and the Turkish military who’ve been working so constructively to solve this problem,” said Dujarric.
Russia said earlier Wednesday it could provide safe passage for grain exports from Ukraine but is not responsible for corridors.
“We’re not responsible for establishing safe corridors. We said that we could provide safe passage if these corridors are established,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters at the UN headquarters.
For Russia to establish the corridors, “it’s obvious it’s either to demine the territory which was mined by the Ukrainians or to ensure that the passage goes around those mines,” he said.
Western and Russian officials are warning of a global food crisis because of the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.
Russia and Ukraine, major global grain exporters, last year had a share of approximately 30% of world wheat exports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow is ready for unhindered grain exports, including exports of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports, but it requires the lifting of relevant sanctions on Russia.