| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

First Turkish Grain Ship Leaves Mariupol Port

Following a round of talks between Turkey and Russia in Moscow, Turkish dry cargo ship, Azov Concord, left on Wednesday Ukraine’s Russian-occupied port of Mariupol.

Azov Concord became the first foreign ship to leave the port with a grain shipment, after being stuck there for days.

This came following a meeting between military delegations of Turkey and Russia in Moscow as part of the “red line diplomacy” carried out between the two sides for the departure of grain ships from Ukraine.

The meeting was held in a positive atmosphere and has already given the first results, Anadolu Agency reported.

The two delegations reached an understanding to hold a meeting in the next 10 days between the delegations of Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations, possibly with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, to solve the food crisis and evacuate grain-laden ships waiting in Ukrainian ports.

They also discussed the safe passage of Turkish-owned planes from Borispol Airport to Turkey.

Turkish sources told a local newspaper that the plan envisaged creating three corridors from Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odessa under Kyiv’s supervision, and that both Ukrainian and Russian food products would be shipped from there.

They said 30 million-35 million tons of grain could be shipped from the port in the next six to eight months.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that Ukraine and Russia are a long way from ending the war through negotiations.

“The truth is, we are far from negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Because Putin still believes in the possibility of a dictated peace,” Scholz said in an address to German lawmakers.

The Chancellor also called on backers of Ukraine to stay firmly on course with their sanctions, with internationally coordinated arms deliveries and with their financial support.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat