Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Turkey To Host Russian, Ukrainian And UN diplomats For Black Sea Grain Talks

Russian and Ukrainian delegations were due to meet with UN diplomats in Istanbul on Wednesday in a bid to break a months-long impasse over stalled grain deliveries across the Black Sea. (https://www.ibtimes.com/russia-ukraine-hold-black-sea-grain-talks-turkey-3570891) The four-way meeting with Turkish officials comes as food prices soar around the world due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest exporters of wheat and other grain. But its shipments have been blocked by Russian warships and mines that Kyiv has laid across the Black Sea. NATO member Turkey — on good terms with both Russia and Ukraine — has spearheaded efforts to resume the grain deliveries. Turkish officials say they have 20 merchant ships waiting in the Black Sea that could be loaded quickly with Ukrainian grain. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to use his good relations with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Kyiv’s Western-backed leaders to thrust Ankara into the centre of negotiations about Ukraine. Erdogan is due to meet Putin for the first time since Russia’s invasion when the two leaders are hosted by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran next Tuesday.

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