According to Turkey, talks hoping to resume Ukrainian grain exports blocked by Russia in the Black Sea have reached a deal. This deal raises hope for an end in the blockade and standoff on the exports that left millions at a risk of starvation. Both sides have agreed on ways to ensure the safety of shipping paths for grain ships according to Turkey’s defense minister, Hulusi Akar.
More talks are expected to be held in Turkey next week, and the agreement will also be signed then. The UN secretary general called this move a critical step forward, one that would require goodwill and commitments by all involved. Ukraine was only able to export 2.5 million tons of grain last month, down from its usual eight million ton average before the war. Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been said to be stopping any shipments, in or out, to Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared optimistic in his nightly address on Wednesday about the deal.