Zelenskiy: 'progress' on grain exports agreement

STORY: Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the deal to be signed next week includes joint controls for checking shipments in harbours and Turkey ensuring the safety of Black Sea export routes.

It raised hopes of an end to a standoff that has exposed millions to the risk of starvation.

"We are indeed putting a significant effort into resuming the supply of food to the world market. And I am grateful to the United Nations and Turkey for their respective efforts," Zelenskiy said.

"The success of this story is necessary not only for our state, but without exaggeration for the whole world. If the Russian threat to navigation in the Black Sea can be removed, it will alleviate the global food crisis," he added.

More than 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain are stuck in silos at the Black Sea port of Odesa and dozens of ships have been stranded due to Russia's blockade, part of what Moscow calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine but which Kyiv and the West say is an unjustified war of aggression.

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