Kyiv says it has yet to reach a deal with Russia or Turkey to allow safe passage of its grain ships through the Black Sea, injecting skepticism into UN efforts to create a vital food corridor .
The warning comes on the eve of a series of Turkish-brokered talks to clear Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and ease a growing global food crisis that has been severely aggravated by the Russian naval blockade.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold talks in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday, with Russian media already raising the prospect of a deal that would allow Moscow to pretend it is helping starving countries in Africa and the Middle East. East.
In a statement, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said Kyiv would reject any deal “that does not take into account Ukraine’s interests”.
“We appreciate Türkiye’s efforts to unblock Ukrainian ports. At the same time, it should be noted that there is currently no agreement on this issue between Ukraine, Turkey and Russia,” the statement said. .
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said neither he nor Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had been invited to the talks in Ankara, Interfax reported.
A deal that allows Russian ships easier access to Ukraine’s port of Odessa is a no-start for Kyiv, as it believes the Russian navy would benefit from a mine-cleared port to offensive this. Russia has previously signaled that it would like sanctions relief in exchange for food export guarantees.
“Given the recent Russian missile strike on a grain terminal in Mykolaiv, we cannot rule out Russian plans to use such a corridor to attack Odessa and southern Ukraine,” the statement continued.