Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar speaks at the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, Türkiye on July 27, 2022. Türkiye inaugurated the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul on Wednesday to monitor the implementation of the grain shipment from Ukraine, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters. (Xinhua/Shadati)
ISTANBUL, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Türkiye inaugurated the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul on Wednesday to monitor the implementation of the grain shipment from Ukraine, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters.
Located inside the compound of a military university in the city's European side district of Besiktas, the center consists of 20 representatives from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations, five from each party, according to Akar.
This will guarantee the safe passage of vessels from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea and the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul to global markets, said the minister.
"This center will register and follow the commercial ships that will be included in the initiative. It will technically track the journey of the ships through satellite, internet, and other means of communication," Akar said.
"If there is a need for demining, plans agreed by all parties would be made. However, there is no need at this stage," he added.
Ships will be inspected by joint inspection teams at locations deemed appropriate upon loading at Ukrainian ports and arrival at ports in Türkiye, according to Akar.
Preparation is being made for the first grain-laden ship to leave the Ukrainian ports, he noted.
"We believe that the work to be carried out through the Joint Coordination Center will make significant contributions to overcoming the food crisis affecting the whole world and reduction in prices," Akar said.
According to the minister, more than 25 million tonnes of grain are waiting at Ukrainian ports to be delivered through the safe corridor to the countries in need.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed respectively by Russia and Ukraine with Türkiye under the UN auspices on Friday in Istanbul, would allow significant volumes of food and fertilizer exports from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, namely Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny.
Ukraine is among the world's leading grain exporters, supplying more than 45 million tonnes annually to the global market, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. ■