a deal signed Ukraine and Russia, mediated by Turkey and the United Nations, will allow the export of five million tons of grain per month from three Ukrainian ports, a senior UN official said Friday in Istanbul.
Here’s what we know about the details of the deal:
As part of the deal, the official said, grain ships would be able to sail through a safe passage in the Black Sea and then pass through the Bosphorus Strait in order to reach global markets.
The ships will be monitored by the Joint Coordination Center (JCC), which will be set up immediately in Istanbul and includes representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations.
The official said the ships will be inspected before they reach Ukraine by Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and United Nations officials to ensure they are not carrying weapons.
Ukraine and Russia have agreed not to attack any vessels identified as part of this initiative that pass through existing channels. In the event of an accident, the Joint Coordination Center will intervene to solve any potential problems, the official said.
The official said representatives from the International Maritime Organization were coordinating shipments with shipping networks.
The official said it could take several weeks before the ships start moving so that all the logistical details of the deal can be properly carried out and inspection teams can be set up.
However, the official said the process must begin quickly so that Ukrainian silos can be emptied for the new harvest.
Ukrainian Minister Oleksandr Kobrakov, who signed the deal, said in a Facebook post that the deal is valid for 120 days from the date of signing and can be extended for the same period unless one of the parties announces its intention to terminate it.
There are about 20 million tons of grain held in Ukraine, where the summer harvest is now in full swing.