Under a crucial deal, the centre in the Turkish metropolis will carry out joint inspections at the entrances and exits of harbors, and ensure the safety of sea routes.

With the mediation of Türkiye and the UN, Ukraine and Russia have signed an agreement on the resumption of Ukraine’s grain shipments, a diplomatic breakthrough welcomed across the globe.
With the mediation of Türkiye and the UN, Ukraine and Russia have signed an agreement on the resumption of Ukraine’s grain shipments, a diplomatic breakthrough welcomed across the globe. (AA)

A landmark deal signed in Türkiye will ensure the safe passage of food grains through three Ukrainian Black Sea ports of Odessa, Chernomorsky and Yuzhny, with a centre in Istanbul monitoring commercial vessels.

Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine signed the agreement on Friday to resume shipments blocked since the start of the fighting between Russia and Ukraine that is now in its fifth month.

Ankara has coordinated with Moscow and Kiev to open a corridor from Ukraine, drawing international praise for its mediator role in a breakthrough that is expected to ease global food shortages as well as inflation.

Under the deal, a coordination centre will be established in Istanbul to carry out joint inspections at the entrances and exits of harbors, and to ensure the safety of sea routes.

The UN has laid out tasks to be carried out by the centre in the implementation of the deal, which will facilitate exports of grain and food items from Ukraine to global markets.

READ MORE: Wheat prices drop as Türkiye-brokered Ukraine grain deal signed

'Safe transportation'

The Istanbul centre has been tasked with enabling "the safe transportation, by merchant ships, of commercial foodstuffs and fertilizer from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea: Odessa, Chornomorsk, Yuzhny", the UN said in a statement.

The ports had been subjected to a blockade by Russia's Black Sea Fleet that halted exports and sparked global concerns.

The centre will monitor the movement of commercial vessels "to ensure compliance" with the agreement, focusing on commercial grain and related food commodities only.

It will also ensure on-site control and cargo monitoring of ships coming from Ukrainian ports.

The centre will not undertake tasks related to the facilitation of food exports from countries other than Ukraine, nor will it facilitate exports of containers of non-food items not covered by the agreement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address to his country that he was grateful to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for their efforts to make the deal possible.

"About 20 million tonnes of last year's grain harvest will be exported," said Zelenskyy.

“And also it will be possible to sell this year's harvest — and it is already being harvested. These are the incomes of farmers, the entire agricultural sector and the state budget. These are jobs."

Ukraine, considered the fifth largest wheat exporter globally, has about $10 billion worth of grain, according to Zelenskyy.

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu told Kremlin state media after attending the signing ceremony that he expected the deal to start working "in the next few days".

The deal came after a general agreement was reached between the parties during talks in Istanbul on July 13.

In June, UN officials warned of dangers to world food security due to the conflict, saying it poses the threats of famine and mass migration globally.

READ MORE: How Türkiye emerged as a reliable mediator in the Ukraine-Russia conflict

Source: TRTWorld and agencies