Turkey in talks with Russia and Ukraine on grain export corridor – senior official


A shipyard worker watches as barley grain is mechanically poured into a 40,000 ton ship at the shipping terminal of a Ukrainian agricultural exporter in the southern Ukrainian town of Nikolaev July 9, 2013 REUTERS/Vincent Mundy

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ANKARA, May 26 (Reuters) – Ankara is in talks with Moscow and kyiv to open a corridor through Turkey for grain exports from Ukraine, a senior Turkish official told Reuters on Thursday.

Ukraine’s Black Sea ports have been blocked since the Russian invasion in February and more than 20 million tonnes of grain are stuck in silos there. Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of the world’s wheat supply and Ukraine’s lack of exports is contributing to a growing global food crisis.

“Turkey is negotiating with Russia and Ukraine for grain export from Ukraine,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

“With the opening of a corridor from Turkey, there was a demand for this grain to reach their target markets. Negotiations are still ongoing,” the person added.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko reportedly said on Wednesday that Moscow was ready to provide a corridor for ships carrying food in exchange for the lifting of some Western sanctions. Turkey borders Ukraine and Russia on the Black Sea.

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Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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