Kuleba Warns against Optimism on Agreement to Unblock Grain Export

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, expressed doubts about a quick agreement on humanitarian corridors for Ukrainian grain from the blocked ports of the Black Sea, despite the Turkish president's statement.

Kuleba noted some logistical details need to be resolved in the negotiations with the mediation of Turkey and the UN. It may not be easy.

"We are just about a few steps from the deal, but these steps are the most difficult," Bloomberg quotes Kuleba. "I don't want to join the chorus of those who say the agreement will take place next week."

Kuleba said the negotiations are focused on routes to secure vessels. There is still no agreement on how to guarantee Russia's non-attack on Odessa from the sea, as well as foreign patrols guarding non-military cargoes.

"We need firm guarantees," the minister said. "Those are the ones that are being worked out."

He expressed skepticism about Russia's desire to reach an agreement, as the blockade provides leverage over Ukraine.

Kuleba also added larger supplies of heavy weapons from allies soon are very important for Ukraine, primarily artillery and rocket launcher systems.

"If Russia continues to dominate, it means only one thing - more weapons are needed," he emphasized.

As previously reported, on July 5, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would "strengthen negotiations" on unblocking the grain export by sea "within ten days."

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