Turkey: Preparations continue for first ships to leave Ukraine

STORY: Russia and Ukraine signed the deal, brokered by Ankara and the United Nations, on Friday (July 22) to reopen grain and fertilizer exports that have been blocked by war to ease an international food crisis.

The joint coordination center (JCC) in Istanbul will oversee departures from three Ukrainian ports in which ships must circumvent mines, and will conduct inspections of incoming ships for weapons.

All vessels pass through Turkish waters and all parties will appoint representatives at the JCC to monitor the implementation of the plan. A total of 20 personnel from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the U.N. will work side-by-side at the center.

Speaking at the National Defence University in central Istanbul's Levent district, where the JCC is located, Akar said more than 25 million tonnes of grain was waiting to be exported.

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