WASHINGTON – The United Nations is "working in close cooperation" with Türkiye to facilitate grain exports from Ukraine, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday.
Dujarric said at a news conference the comments made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to get grain out of Ukraine without demining "were extremely positive."
When asked Anadolu Agency if the UN established safe corridors without demining the water around Ukraine's ports in the Black Sea, Dujarric said: "I can tell you on that that we have been in very close contact, are working in close cooperation with the Turkish authorities on this issue.".
"Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres) is extremely grateful for the cooperation we've had from President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu and the Turkish military who've been working so constructively in order to solve this problem," Dujarric said.
Russia said Wednesday it could provide safe passage for grain exports from Ukraine but is not responsible for corridors.
"We're not responsible for establishing safe corridors. We said that we could provide safe passage if these corridors are established," Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters at UN headquarters.
For Russia to establish the corridors, "it's obvious it's either to demine the territory which was mined by the Ukrainians or to ensure that the passage goes around those mines," he said.
Western and Russian officials are warning of a global food crisis because of the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.
Russia and Ukraine, major global grain exporters, last year had a share of about 30 percent of world wheat exports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow is ready for unhindered grain exports, including exports of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports, but it requires the lifting of relevant sanctions on Russia. (Anadolu)