Ukrainian ports to reopen as grain deal ‘agreed’


Russian-Ukrainian war: Ukrainian ports to reopen as grain deal ‘agreed’ – STRINGER/AFP

Moscow and Kyiv will sign an agreement today to reopen Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for grain exports, Turkey said, raising hopes that an international food crisis caused by the Russian invasion could be eased.

Ukraine and Russia, both among the world’s largest food exporters, did not immediately confirm the announcement made Thursday by the Turkish presidential office. But in a late-night video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hinted that his country’s Black Sea ports could soon be unblocked.

The blockade of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has reduced supplies to markets around the world and driven up grain prices since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to neighboring Ukraine on February 24.

The agreement is due to be signed by noon, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said.

The United Nations and Turkey have been working for two months to negotiate what António Guterres called a “comprehensive” deal – to resume Ukrainian grain exports from the Black Sea and facilitate Russian shipments of grain and fertilizer.

Follow the latest updates below.

08:33

Russia ‘stealing’ steel destined for UK, Ukraine says

Russia is looting steel bound for the UK and EU, the head of Ukraine’s biggest steel company has said.

Raw and finished steel worth $600m (£501m) left at the Azovstal plant and nearby port in the brutalized city of Mariupol was destined for UK customers but is now being transported in Russia and partly sold in Asia and Africa, according to Metinvest CEO Yuriy Ryzhenkov.

He told the BBC: “What they are doing with this steel is basically looting. They are stealing our products, not just our products but also some of these products already belong to European customers.”

“So we are documenting as much as possible. We are preparing the case and we will pursue them with everything we have.”

The Azovstal steel plant, which became the last stronghold of Ukrainian fighters and civilians during the Battle of Mariupol, and its sister plant accounted for 40% of all Ukrainian steel production.

Thousands of tonnes of steel had already been purchased by customers in Europe, including some in Britain.

08:10

Russia threatens to expand its war if the West continues to supply arms to Ukraine

07:43

Donetsk today, in pictures

Russo-Ukrainian war: Ukrainian ports to reopen as grain deal expires

Russo-Ukrainian war: Ukrainian ports to reopen as grain deal ‘agreed’ – GEORGE IVANCHENKO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock

Russo-Ukrainian war: Ukrainian ports to reopen as grain deal expires

Russo-Ukrainian war: Ukrainian ports to reopen as grain deal ‘agreed’ – GEORGE IVANCHENKO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock

07:17

Ukraine continues to repel attacks in Donbass – MoD

05:35

Moscow in “serious violation of international law”

Japan’s annual defense white paper describes Moscow’s attack on Ukraine as a ‘serious violation of international law’ and raises concerns that Russia’s use of force to resolve a dispute could set a precedent that threatens the security of neighboring Taiwan, which Beijing considers its own territory.

Chinese military aircraft are increasingly probing Taiwan’s air defenses.

The defense white paper endorsed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government identifies China, Russia and North Korea as its top security concerns.

Kishida Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi described Japan as being on a frontline surrounded by nuclear-armed actors.

05:33

Japan warns of security threats

Japan warned on Friday of escalating national security threats, including the fallout from Russia’s war with Ukraine, Chinese intimidation of Taiwan and vulnerable technology supply chains, in its annual defense white paper.

The report outlines the government’s security concerns as it prepares the Defense Ministry’s budget request due next month, aimed at bolstering public support for an unprecedented increase in military funding that the ruling party aims to double over the next decade.

It also sets the stage for a year-end national security review that is expected to call for the acquisition of longer-range strike missiles, enhanced space and cyber capabilities, and tighter access controls. to technology.

“The political, economic and military rivalries between nations are clear, and the challenge to the international order is a global problem,” the white paper said.

02:54

Deadly attacks reinforce Kyiv’s ‘desire to defeat the invaders’

Volodymyr Zelensky said three people were killed on Thursday when the Russians shelled the eastern city of Kharkiv.

“Each of these Russian attacks is an argument for Ukraine to receive more Himars and other modern and effective weapons,” the Ukrainian president said.

“Each of these attacks only strengthens our desire to defeat the invaders and it will certainly happen.”

02:52

Ukraine could inflict significant damage on Russian forces

Ukraine’s military has the potential to make gains on the battlefield and inflict significant losses on Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday after meeting with senior commanders.

Mr Zelensky, speaking in a late-night video address, said they had discussed the supply of modern weapons, adding that the intensity of attacks on the Russians needed to be stepped up.

“(We) agreed that our forces had the strong potential to advance on the battlefield and inflict significant further casualties on the occupiers,” he said.

Kyiv hopes Western weapons, including longer-range missiles such as the US Himars that Ukraine has deployed in recent weeks, will allow it to mount a counterattack and retake territory.

02:49

Zelensky demands faster delivery of weapons

Western powers have stepped up arms deliveries to Ukraine, but President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for more and faster deliveries.

Britain became the latest country on Thursday to announce it will be resupplying the army with artillery, “hundreds of drones and hundreds of other anti-tank weapons” for Ukraine in the coming weeks.

Russia has warned against arms deliveries and said it means that Moscow will no longer focus solely on controlling the Lugansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine, which are partially controlled by the pro-Moscow rebels for years.

02:24

today’s best stories

  • The Russian army is almost exhausted and Ukraine will have opportunity to counterattack in coming weeks, UK spy chief says

  • The scorched remains of buildings destroyed by Russian shelling cast a shadow over nearby parks where children play in the Kyiv suburb of Borodyanka. The local council wants to keep it as a memorial to honor those who lost their lives, but residents who survived are now fighting for it. right to have their house rebuilt on the land where they once lived peacefully

  • Russia, Ukraine and the West must agree to stop the Ukrainian conflict in order to avoid the “nuclear war abyss“Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said

  • High-powered western fighter aircraft could be sent to Ukraine to reinforce its forces in the battle against the Russian invasion, says the chief of the American air force

  • Vladimir Putin is “too healthy”the CIA said, dismissing media speculation that the Russian president is suffering from health problems

  • Russia is closing in on Ukraine’s second largest Power plantBritish military intelligence warned

  • The head of the largest Ukrainian unit of foreign volunteers has direct message for all brits still wanting to join the fight against Russia

  • Russia expects North Korean workers to help rebuild two self-declared republics in eastern Ukraine, with Pyongyang likely to be paid in much-needed industrial equipment and wheat from areas of Ukraine now under Russian military control