Under the UN plan, safe corridors could be established without de-mining in the Black Sea for grain exports from Ukraine, says Foreign Minister Cavusoglu.

"If Russia answers positively, there will be a four-partite meeting in Istanbul," FM Cavusoglu says. (AA)

Türkiye is ready to host a four-way meeting with the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine to organise the export of grain through the Black Sea, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

Millions of tonnes of wheat are currently stuck in Ukrainian ports, either blockaded or occupied by Russian forces, and vessels face the danger of mines. 

Cavusoglu said on Wednesday the UN has submitted a plan to facilitate exports.

Under the plan, safe corridors could be established without de-mining in the Black Sea for grain exports from Ukraine, he said.

"As it is known whereabouts of the mines, safe lines will be established at three ports. So the ships will go to the ports safely, without the need to clear the mines, with the guidance of Ukraine's search and rescue vessels," Cavusoglu said after noting the UN's plan to clean the mines will take time.

The foreign minister also said the vessels will be checked once they arrive at the safe zone.

"If Russia answers positively, there will be a quadripartite meeting in Istanbul," Cavusoglu said.

READ MORE: Türkiye to discuss with Russia, Ukraine exports of Ukrainian grain

Türkiye's role

The UN Secretary-General's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Ankara had an important role in resolving the situation which has raised the prospect of worldwide food shortages.

"We have been in very close contact and we are working in close cooperation with the Turkish authorities on this issue," he said.

"I think the role of the Turkish military will be critical in that regard."

Cavusoglu last week hosted his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Ankara to discuss the issue, but without conclusive results.

Prior to the conflict, Ukraine was a major exporter of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but shipments have been blocked since Russia attacked its neighbour in late February, causing food prices to soar worldwide.

Countries in the Middle East and Africa depend on Ukraine's exports.

At the request of the UN, Türkiye has offered its services to escort maritime convoys from Ukrainian ports, despite the presence of mines — some of which have been detected near the Turkish coast.

After hosting talks between Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in March aimed at ending the conflict, the country has positioned itself as a neutral mediator as it maintains a delicate balancing act between its two Black Sea neighbours.

READ MORE: Türkiye ready to help in Russia-Ukraine 'observation mechanism': Erdogan

Source: TRTWorld and agencies