Turkish officials estimate grain exports from Ukraine, as agreed under last week’s Ankara- and UN-brokered deal between Moscow and Kiev, will start this week, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
“Based upon statements by our colleagues from Turkey where the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) is located, they expect exports from Ukraine to start in the coming days,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko told reporters.
He added, however, that, for its part, Moscow was hoping for the best but could not rule out the deal crumbling.
“We always hope for the best and expect that our partners will also implement two components of the grain deal – [that] concerning the export of grain from Ukraine, and [that] regarding the removal of restrictions on the export of Russian grain in general,” the official elaborated.
Turkey’s defense minister Hulusi Akar announced Wednesday the JCC had begun operations in Istanbul. According to Akar, the center will be overseeing grain exports under the leadership of the UN.