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Turkey says Russia and Ukraine close to signing grain export deal

An agricultural tool harvests grain in the field, as the Russian-Ukrainian war continues in Odessa, Ukraine on July 04, 2022.

Methane Acta | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A UN-backed deal to resume Ukrainian grain exports could be signed on Friday, easing a global food crisis caused by the conflict in Eastern Europe.

The signing is expected to take place at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman telling reporters on Thursday that Russia and Ukraine had reached an agreement.

International onlookers are cautious about the deal and Russia will be closely watched to ensure it sticks to its part of the deal. Grain exporters in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa have been unable to export their goods due to war, fueling a global shortage of basic commodities and driving up food prices.

The deal would allow Ukrainian ships to guide ships through mined waters, with a localized truce in place so Russia wouldn’t attack. Turkish officials are also expected to inspect shipments to rule out arms smuggling.

Moscow, which accuses Ukraine of laying the mines, is also expected to restart its own grain exports to the Black Sea under the deal.

Matt Clinch

Russia deliberately weaponized food in Ukraine, State Department says

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech in front of the “Fatherland, Courage, Honor” monument near the headquarters of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (SVR), in Moscow, Russia June 30, 2022.

Alexei Nikolsky | kremlin sputnik | via Reuters

The State Department denounced Russian attacks on Ukrainian agricultural facilities and a months-long blockade on food exports.

For months, Russian warships blocked Ukrainian ports on the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea.

“To this day, Russia has weaponized food during this conflict. They have destroyed agricultural facilities, they have prevented millions of tons of Ukrainian grain from getting to those who need it,” the carrier said. State Department spokesman Ned Price during a daily press briefing.

“It is a reflection of Russia’s disregard for lives and livelihoods not just in the region but far beyond,” he added.

Price’s comments follow news that the United Nations, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine will soon sign an agreement that will open a sea corridor for Ukrainian grain exports.

“We should never have been in this position in the first place. It was a deliberate move by the Russian Federation to weaponize food,” Price said.

Amanda Macias

Ukraine’s first lady meets with HP representatives, accepts computers for students

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska arrives to deliver a speech to members of the United States Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on July 20, 2022.

Michael Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, this week met with representatives from HP and the Global Business Coalition for Education to accept a donation of computers for children, students and healthcare providers in Ukraine.

“We are very grateful for the support from HP and the Global Business Coalition for Education,” Zelenska wrote in a statement regarding the $30 million HP initiative. “Their efforts and contribution will help students in Ukraine and beyond continue to learn and prepare for the future, just like any other young person in the world,” she added.

HP CEO Enrique Lores said the Palo Alto-based company will continue to mobilize technology resources for Ukraine.

“Through our partnership with the Global Business Coalition for Education, we will put personal computers in the hands of students and families who have been displaced from their homes and classrooms,” Lores wrote in a statement.

Amanda Macias

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