With the support of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Ukraine, Turkey, and Russia have agreed to facilitate safe shipping for the export of grain, related food products, and fertilizers (including ammonia) from the Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi seaports over a period of 120 days, which can be extended.

This was reported by the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

The relevant documents were signed in Istanbul on Friday within the framework of an initiative on the safe transportation of grain and food products from Ukrainian ports. Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov signed a tripartite document with Turkey’s Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar and Guterres in the presence of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Akar and Guterres also signed a similar tripartite document with Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu.

According to the text of the initiative, a copy of which the agency obtained, it is based on the agreements of the parties to the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.

In particular, the parties agreed to the following:

- all parties will provide maximum assurances regarding a safe and secure environment for all vessels engaged in this initiative;

- a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) will be set up in Istanbul under the auspices of the UN and including representatives of all parties and the UN;

- inspection teams consisting of all parties and the United Nations will be set up in Turkey, and their primary responsibility will be to check for the absence of unauthorized cargoes and personnel on board vessels inbound to or outbound from the Ukrainian ports.

According to the document, all activities in Ukrainian territorial waters will be under the authority and within the scope of responsibility of Ukraine.

The parties will not undertake any attacks against merchant vessels and other civilian vessels and port facilities involved in this initiative.

Should demining be required, a minesweeper belonging to another country shall sweep the approaches to the Ukrainian ports.

Merchant vessels will be prior registered with the JCC and they will be technically monitored for the duration of their passage through a maritime humanitarian corridor agreed upon by all parties.

The JCC will develop and disseminate a detailed operational and communication plan, including the identification of safe harbors and medical relief options.

To prevent provocations and incidents, the movement of vessels through the maritime humanitarian corridor will be monitored by the parties remotely.

"No warships, aircraft, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) may approach the maritime humanitarian corridor closer than a distance agreed by the JCC without the authorization of the JCC, and only after consultation with all parties," the text of the initiative states.

This initiative will remain in effect for 120 days from the date of its signing by all parties, and it can be extended automatically for the same period, unless one of the parties notifies the other of its intent to terminate or modify the initiative.

Representatives of Ukraine have repeatedly emphasized that the signing of the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain does not mean that the security regime in the Black Sea will be weakened.

As reported, a round of negotiations took place in Istanbul on 13 July, when Ukrainian and Russian delegations agreed to sign the document.