A deal signed Friday in Istanbul between Ukraine and Russia, and mediated by Turkey and the United Nations, would allow 5 million tonnes of grain exports per month from three Ukrainian ports, a senior UN official said Friday.
Here’s what we know about the details of the deal:
As part of the deal, grain ships will be able to navigate through a safe corridor in the Black Sea then pass through the Bosphorus in order to reach global markets, the official said.
The vessels will be monitored by a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), which will be established immediately in Istanbul and include representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN.
Vessels would be inspected before they arrive in Ukraine by Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN officials to ensure they are not carrying weapons, according to the official.
Ukraine and Russia have agreed not to attack any ship identified as part of this initiative that is passing through the established channels. In case of an incident, JCC will intervene to resolve any possible issues, the official said.
Representatives from the International Maritime Organization have been coordinating shipments with shipping networks, the official said.
It may take several weeks before vessels start moving so that all logistical details of the deal can properly be implemented and inspection teams can be established, the official said.
Nonetheless, the process has to start quickly so that Ukraine’s silos can be emptied for the new harvest, the official said.
The deal is valid for 120 days from the date of signing and can be extended for the same period unless one of the parties has announced their intention to terminate it, said Ukrainian minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, who signed the deal, in a Facebook post.
Some 20 million tonnes of grain are held up in Ukraine, where the summer harvest is now well underway.