May 21, 2024

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Ukraine abruptly pulled out of an impending deal with Russia over the Black Sea

Ukraine abruptly pulled out of an impending deal with Russia over the Black Sea

Russia and Ukraine have been negotiating an agreement with Türkiye for two months Navigation safety Four informed sources told Reuters that the talks in the Black Sea reached a text that Ankara was scheduled to announce, but Kiev suddenly withdrew.

Turkey mediated the negotiations at the request of the United Nations, according to the sources who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. In March, an agreement was reached on Salama Merchant ships In the Black Sea, although Ukraine did not want to formally sign it, it agreed to be announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on March 30, before crucial municipal elections.

“At the last minute, Ukraine suddenly withdrew and the agreement collapsed,” one of the sources said. Three other people confirmed this version of events. Russia, Ukraine and Turkey declined to comment. It is currently unclear why Ukraine backed down. Reuters sources said they do not know the reason that led to this decision. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky He said in February that without new US military aid, Ukraine would not be able to defend the Black Sea “corridor” that runs near Romania and Bulgaria.

In response to a request for comment, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “We continue to hope that freedom of navigation will prevail in the Black Sea.”

The text of the agreement, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, stated that Turkey had reached agreements with Ukraine and Russia to guarantee its independence. Free and safe navigation Merchant ships in the Black Sea, based on the Montreux Convention on the Status of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits. Moscow and Kiev will provide security guarantees to commercial ships and pledge not to attack, seize or search them if they carry empty cargo or declared non-military goods. The guarantees do not apply to warships and merchant ships carrying military supplies, with some exceptions. Turkey and the United Nations brokered the Black Sea Grains Initiative, an agreement reached in July 2022 that allowed the safe export of nearly 33 million metric tons of grains from Ukraine. Russia withdrew from the deal in July 2023, in protest against the obstacles facing its food and fertilizer exports.

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