Live: Russia and Ukraine seek to break grain exports impasse in Turkey
Issued on: Modified:
Russia and Ukraine were due Wednesday to hold their first talks with UN and Turkish officials aimed at breaking a months-long impasse over grain exports that has seen food prices soar and millions face hunger. Follow the day’s events on our live blog. All times are Paris time, GMT+2.
6:51am: Ukraine launches rocket attacks on Russian-held area in Kherson region
Ukraine launched long-range rocket attacks on Russian forces in southern Ukraine and destroyed an ammunition store, its military said, as Russia continued to pound the country’s east.
The strike on Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region killed 52 people, Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday. The town’s Russia-installed authorities said that at least seven people had been killed and around 70 injured, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.
The strike came after Washington supplied Ukraine with advanced HIMARS mobile artillery systems which Kyiv says its forces are using with growing efficiency.
Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.
6:15am: Russia, Ukraine seek to break impasse over grain exports in Turkey
Russia and Ukraine were due Wednesday to hold their first talks with UN and Turkish officials aimed at breaking a months-long impasse over grain exports that has seen food prices soar and millions face hunger.
The four-way meeting in Istanbul comes with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine showing no sign of abating and the threat of food shortages spreading across the poorest parts of the world.
Ukraine is a vital exporter of wheat and grains such as barley and maize. It has also supplied nearly half of all the sunflower oil traded on global markets.
But exports across the Black Sea have been blocked by Russian warships and mines Kyiv has laid to avert a feared amphibious assault.
The negotiations are being complicated by growing suspicions that Russia is trying to export grain it has stolen from Ukrainian farmers in regions under its control.
US space agency data released last week showed 22 percent of Ukraine’s farmland falling under Russian control since the February 24 invasion.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tried on Tuesday to play down expectations from the Istanbul talks.
“We are working hard indeed, but there is still a way to go,” the UN chief told reporters.
2:12am: LeBron James asks how Griner ‘can feel like America has her back’
NBA superstar LeBron James criticised US efforts to bring home Women’s NBA star Brittney Griner, wondering Tuesday why she would even want to return to America after so long.
On a 30-second trailer for his YouTube talk show “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” it was noted that Griner has been imprisoned in Russia since February, days before Russian troops invaded Ukraine.
“Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” James said. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?’”
Griner remains in a Russian prison after pleading guilty to possessing drugs, traces of which authorities found on vape equipment in her luggage five months ago.
US officials have said they consider Griner’s situation as a wrongful detention.
2:02am: Ukrainian group to sue Canada for returning Nord Stream 1 turbine
A group representing the Ukrainian diaspora said on Tuesday it was seeking a judicial review of the Canadian government’s decision to return a repaired turbine to Germany that is needed for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.
The Canadian government on Saturday said it was issuing a “time-limited and revocable permit” to exempt the return of turbines from its Russian sanctions as Europe seeks continued energy flows until it can end its dependency on Russian gas.
Ukraine’s energy and foreign ministries said on Sunday the decision amounted to adjusting sanctions imposed on Moscow “to the whims of Russia” and called for it to be reversed.
1:41am: Brazil wants to buy as much diesel as it can from Russia, talks ongoing
Brazil is looking to buy as much diesel as it can from Russia and some of the deals were being closed “as recently as yesterday,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca said on Tuesday, without giving further details on the transactions.
“We have to make sure that we have enough diesel to the Brazilian agribusiness and, of course, for Brazilian drivers,” Franca told reporters during a visit to the United Nations in New York. “So that’s why we were looking for safe and very reliable suppliers of diesel – Russia is one of them.”
Brazil is looking to buy “as much as we can” from Russia, he said.
It was not immediately clear how Brazil would buy Russian diesel without coming up against Western sanctions, imposed on Moscow over its February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP, AP)