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Turkey and Russia discuss grain transit from Ukraine

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A Turkish defense delegation was in Moscow for talks aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukraine across the Black Sea, Russia’s defense ministry said Wednesday.

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Millions of tons of wheat and other grains have been stuck in Ukrainian ports since Russia sent troops to its pro-Western neighbor, sparking concern about hunger and food prices worldwide.

“The parties discussed the safe exit of Turkish merchant ships and the export of grain from Ukrainian ports, as well as approaches to ensuring safe navigation in the Black Sea,” the ministry said in a statement following the meeting on Tuesday.

Russia has repeatedly denied blocking the passage of cargo ships loaded with Ukrainian grain, instead blaming Western sanctions against Moscow for contributing to the food crisis.

Turkey -- which has maintained good relations with Moscow and Kyiv -- has offered to enable the passage of vessels from Ukraine based on a UN plan that would see safe corridors set up around known mines.

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