Jul 13, 2022
By Jane Brown
Military representatives from both Russia and Ukraine are holding their governments’ first face-to-face talks in months Wednesday in Istanbul.
They are meeting in Turkey to discuss a United Nations plan to export blocked Ukrainian grain to world markets through the Black Sea.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil.
Vladimir Putin’s Russian invasion and war has disrupted production and halted shipments, endangering food supplies in many developing countries and contributing to higher prices.
The plans set to be discussed include having Ukrainian vessels guide grain ships around sea mines, Russia agreeing to a truce while shipments move, and Turkey inspecting ships with UN support in order to ally Russian fears of potential weapons smuggling.
Turkish military officials and U.N. representatives were also planning to participate in Wednesday’s discussions.
Meantime, the office of Ukraine’s president says renewed Russian artillery barrages killed at least five civilians and wounded another 18 in the past day.
Most of the deaths occurred in Donetsk province, which is part of a region where Russian forces have fought for control for eight years and the Kremlin is intent on capturing.
Russian forces have all but conquered Luhansk province, but the governor said Wednesday that Ukrainian soldiers held on to two outlying villages.
(The Associated Press)