The Governments of Turkey and the United Kingdom insisted today on the need to create a system that allows the tons of cereals blocked in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion to be released from the markets, with London warning that if not there is a solution next month, there could be a “global famine”.
“It is urgent that measures be taken during the next month, before the new harvest,” warned the British Foreign Minister, Elizabeth Truss, during a press conference in Ankara with her Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavusoglu.
“If this problem is not resolved, a huge world famine is likely,” the minister said, noting that Turkey is playing an important role in negotiations to unblock Ukraine’s wheat and other food exports.
Truss accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using hunger as a weapon by blocking some 20 million tons of grain in Ukrainian seaports.
Çavusoglu, for his part, insisted that if an agreement is reached, under the supervision of the United Nations, a safe passage will be created for merchant ships to leave Ukraine’s territorial waters and a control center will be installed in Istanbul.
“The ships that go to the Ukrainian ports will be inspected to ensure that they do not transport weapons,” said the minister, who insisted on the need to give guarantees to Russia.
Among them, he again mentioned the lifting of sanctions on the Russian banking sector to facilitate the export of fertilizers and cereals from Russia.
Cavusoglu said the plan will only work if all parties agree, saying there is still no date to hold a summit on the issue in Istanbul, but he hopes for a positive response from Russia.