Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye hold negotiations regarding Black Sea shipping deal – Reuters

The Reuters news agency claims that Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye have been negotiating for two months on an agreement on the safety of navigation in the Black Sea, which was to be announced at the end of March.

Source: Reuters, as reported by European Pravda

Details: The agency, citing four sources, claims that the agreement between Kyiv and Moscow has been ready and was to be announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 30 March, the day before the local elections in Türkiye.

But, the sources that spoke to Reuters said that "at the very last minute, Ukraine suddenly pulled out and the deal was scuttled". The reason for this step is unknown.

The draft agreement seen by Reuters envisaged Moscow and Kyiv providing security guarantees for merchant ships in the Black Sea, pledging not to strike, seize or search them if they were either empty or declared as non-military cargo.

"These guarantees do not apply to warships, civilian vessels carrying military goods (with the exception of maritime transportation agreed upon by the Parties within the framework of international missions)," the draft agreement says.

For both Ukraine and Russia, the Black Sea is an important route for delivering grain, fertiliser and oil to the world markets.

Following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine's Black Sea ports by Russia in July 2022, Türkiye and the UN helped to establish the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

As part of the agreement, Ukraine was able to safely export almost 33 million metric tonnes of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea through the so-called Grain Corridor. However, in July 2023, Russia withdrew from the agreement, claiming that its requirements had not been met.

It should be noted that the Turkish side then advocated for the resumption of the grain corridor with Russia's participation, while Ukraine was able to establish its own route across the Danube River.

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