ANKARA, July 21 (Reuters) – Talks between Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations on resuming Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea are going well so far, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, adding he was hopeful about reaching a deal.
Turkey hosted officials from Russia, Ukraine and the U.N. to discuss details of the U.N.-led plan last week. Ankara has since said a general agreement was reached, and that it wants to put this into writing this week.
Speaking to state broadcaster TRT Haber, Cavusoglu said he hoped to be able to announce “good news” on the talks in coming days, but added there were still minor issues being discussed between the parties.
In Other Developments:
- Russian forces are likely closing in on Ukraine’s second biggest power plant at Vuhlehirska, 50 kilometres (31 miles) north-east of Donetsk, British military intelligence said on Thursday.
“Russia is prioritising the capture of critical national infrastructure, such as power plants,” Britain’s defence ministry said in a regular bulletin.
The ministry also added that Russia is probably attempting to break through at Vuhlehirska, as part of its efforts to regain momentum on the southern pincer of its advance towards the key cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.
- The number of border crossings from Ukraine has surpassed 9.5 million for the first time since Russia invaded the country, the UN Refugee Agency reported on Wednesday.
A total of 9,547,969 border crossings from Ukraine have been recorded since Feb. 24, the agency’s tally showed on Wednesday.