Russia and Ukraine signed separate deals Friday afternoon with Turkey and the United Nations that cleared the way for millions of tons of desperately needed Ukrainian grain to be exported, as well as Russian grain and fertilizer, ending a wartime standoff. that had threatened food security around the world.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed separate agreements with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
The ceremony was witnessed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Today, there is a lighthouse in the Black Sea," Guterres said. "A beacon of hope, a beacon of possibility, a beacon of relief in a world that needs it more than ever," he added.
"You have overcome obstacles and set aside differences to pave the way for an initiative that will serve the common interests of all," he said, addressing the Russian and Ukrainian representatives.