A Turkish military delegation will travel to Russia this week for discussions on a possible sea corridor in the Black Sea for Ukrainian grain exports, CNN Türk reported on Tuesday, citing sources from Turkey’s presidency.
The visit is set to be followed by a meeting of officials from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations in Istanbul next week, it said, where the issue will be further addressed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres could join the meeting, it added.
The majority of Ukrainian grain exports have been halted since February, when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine and blockaded the country’s Black Sea ports, which saw 90 percent of trade from the world’s fifth-largest grain exporter.
The stoppage has sparked concerns that the war in Ukraine well lead to a global food crisis, pushing millions of people into famine.
Three corridors would be created as part of a plan that includes four separate ports in Ukraine’s Black Sea city of Odessa, CNN Türk said, adding that both Ukrainian and Russian food products would be shipped from there.
An estimated 30-35 million tonnes of grain are expected to be shipped from there over the 6-8 months, it said.
Russia on Wednesday said that it could provide safe passage for grain exports from Ukraine, although it rejected the prospects of establishing a corridor as suggested by Ankara earlier.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had said that Ankara is holding talks with the Russian delegation on the United Nations’ proposal to free the Ukrainian grain from blockaded Odessa and other key ports in the Black Sea.