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Ukraine and Russia sign deal to restart grain exports

A DEAL allowing grain exports from Ukraine to resume was described as “a beacon of hope” after its signing today in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said that the agreement between Ukraine, Russia and Turkey “did not come easy,” adding that “it has been a long road.”

But Mr Guterres said it was “an agreement for the world” that would help alleviate a global food crisis. 

Under its terms, Ukraine will control the organisation of grain exports at the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. 

No ships other than those used for grain, food products and fertilisers will be allowed to dock there. 

Turkey will inspect vessels for weapons. 

The agreement followed intense talks in Istanbul last week in a bid to break a deadlock. Turkey pressed Russia to endorse its planned invasion of Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria in return for helping to break the deadlock.

Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of mining the ports, leading to a blockade and global food shortages. 

It is estimated that some 25 million tonnes of grain have been stuck in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24. 

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