Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar attended the opening ceremony of the joint coordination center established at the National Defense University. Akar informed that the aim of the center is to provide the safe transportation of grain and similar food products to be exported from Ukraine from the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny.
The preparation and planning works for the first ships to leave Ukraine are continuing, Akar said that he believes that the work of the center will make a significant contribution to decrising the prices.
The center consists of military and civilian representatives from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations, Akar noted that there is no military element associated with this center in the field.
Akar stated that the center will have duties such as inspecting the ships upon arrival at the ports in Turkey, and acting in a way agreed by the parties if there is a need for demining, but he said that there is no need for demining at this stage.
Akar said, “It is our greatest desire to comply with the agreement by the parties,” and expressed his desire for the initiative to lay the groundwork for a permanent peace environment.
“We hope that a ceasefire will be reached as soon as possible, the tension will be reduced and humanitarian aid will be delivered,” said Akar, adding that they think that the joint coordination center will contribute to the prevention of the food crisis, decrease the food prices, and that the work in this center can be a model for the solution of some other problems such as the energy crisis.
On the other hand, a senior Turkish official informed that the first ships loaded with grain are expected to leave the Black Sea ports for shipment in a few days.
The agreement for the resumption of grain exports and the establishment of a joint coordination center was made on 22 July under the mediation of Ankara and the UN.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, the official said that all the details are being worked out, including the safe passage of the ships without the need to clear the mines.
“It will not take more than a few days,” the official said. The first grain shipment will be loaded this week and export from Ukraine will begin,” he said.