Ukraine, Russia and Turkey to discuss on Friday possible extension of grain export agreement

Archive – A ship waits to export grain from a port in Ukraine. – CELESTINO ARCE LAVIN / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The governments of Ukraine, Russia and Turkey will hold a meeting this Friday at the level of deputy defense ministers to discuss the possibility of extending the agreement for grain exports from Ukrainian ports, as confirmed Wednesday by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

»The deputy defense ministers of Turkey, Ukraine and Russia are scheduled to meet in Istanbul on Friday, April 5,» said Akar, who defended that the »grain corridor» seeks to eliminate the risk of a global »food crisis» because of the war in Ukraine, Turkish state news agency Anatolia reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Tuesday that a stalemate is developing as the talks continue »without results» and stressed that »the window is closing. »The terms of the agreement have not been fully met on those issues of concern to the Russian agricultural sector, but the dialogue will continue,» he said.

Russia complains that only the part of the pact that benefits Ukraine is being fulfilled, which is why it has launched harsh criticism against the United Nations — a mediator in the pact negotiations — and justified in mid-March an extension of half the time previously set. The agreement now expires on May 18.