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Russia and Turkey have agreed to pursue talks on a safe sea corridor in the Black sea to export grain, following intense discussions in Moscow, the Russian and Turkish defence ministers said on Wednesday.

Turkey’s Defence Ministry also said that a Turkish dry cargo vessel, the Azov concord had safely left Mariupol as a result of the talks – the first foreign ship to leave the port since the beginning of the invasion. Ukraine is known as the “breadbasket of Europe” since it is one of the world’s top wheat suppliers. However, exports have been halted by Russia’s invasion, causing fears of global food insecurity.

The United Nations has appealed to both Russia and Ukraine, as well as Turkey to agree to a safe sea corridor.