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Ankara and London call for urgent action to solve Black Sea grain crisis

dpa
Istanbul
Britain and Turkey’s top diplomats on Thursday warned of “devastating consequences” if a quick solution to a lingering grain crisis in the Black Sea due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t found.
“This grain crisis is urgent and it needs to be solved within the next month. Otherwise, we can see devastating consequences,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told reporters in Ankara alongside her Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavusoglu.
Russia is “weaponizing hunger” and using food security as a “callous tool of war,” Truss charged, adding that Britain and Turkey were working “closely together” to get the “grain out of Ukraine.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has disrupted grain deliveries to markets, leading to a global rise in food prices. The international community has for weeks been appealing for Moscow to allow the export of Ukrainian grain.
The two countries are among the world’s biggest wheat exporters and play a key role in ensuring global food security.
The issue needs to be resolved “as soon as possible,” Çavusoglu said, adding Ankara backs a United Nations plan which he said stipulates creating a control centre in Istanbul to monitor passage of vessels in and out of a “safe zone” outside Ukrainian waters.
Çavusoglu was still cautious about a quick solution, saying that some security-related hurdles remain in the way.