Russian authorities and dignitaries from the Kyiv government are to sign Friday the first deal since the beginning of the war in February. Brokered by Türkiye, the belligerent states will agree in Istanbul on safe corridors through the Black Sea for the export of Ukrainian wheat from its own ports.
Ukrainian delegate Rustem Umerov said shipments could resume from three ports under full control of his country: Odessa, Pivdennyi, and Chornomorsk.
An estimated 25 million tons of wheat and other grains are blocked at Ukrainian ports, thus prompting a global food supply crisis.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also scheduled to attend the ceremony at the Dolmabahce Palace, according to the office of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The agreement was in the air since Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin met earlier this month in Tehran. Putin insisted, however, that any such deal should also include Russian wheat banned from reaching overseas.
Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had stated that when we solve this problem, not only will the export channel of wheat and sunflower oil from Ukraine be opened, but also of products from Russia.
The war has sparked a major food crisis in places already hit by other calamities, such as Jordan, Niger, and Ghana, which are heavily dependent on Ukrainian wheat.
The consequences of the war regarding food production were among the main topics at Thursday's Mercosur Summit in Asunción, where Argentine President Alberto Fernández insisted on the unique opportunity it meant for the large food-producing South American countries.