Turkey’s Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar announced that the joint grain coordination centre has started operating in Istanbul.
The centre was opened on the territory of the National Defence University of Turkey. The United Nations will coordinate its work.
The centre employs representatives of Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the UN.
“It is necessary to safely and, most importantly, urgently transport over 25 million tons of grain located in Ukraine’s ports to world markets, which is why the need for creating a safe maritime corridor arose,” said Hulusi Akar, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
The agreement on grain export will last for 120 days, but according to Turkey’s Defence Ministry, it could be extended if necessary.
On 22 July, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the UN signed an agreement regarding the exports of Ukraine’s grain via the Black Sea.
The agreement does not imply that Ukraine’s sea ports be cleared of mines: ships will use safe navigation channels instead. Full-fledged ship traffic will be established in a couple of weeks, the UN says.