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BRICS nation could be third party ensuring safety of ships with Ukraine’s grain — expert

"This country cannot be from the list of unfriendly states that impose or support sanctions against Russia," Andrey Bystritsky said

MOSCOW, July 25./TASS/. One of the BRICS nations could be a third country ensuring the safety of shipping Ukrainian grain in the Black Sea, Chairman of the Board of the Valdai Discussion Club’s Development and Support Foundation Andrey Bystritsky told TASS on Monday.

A third party, which will be determined later, will ensure the security of ships with Ukrainian grain in the Black Sea, along with Russia and Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday.

"We managed to reach an agreement in Istanbul: Ukraine demines ports and lets ships take to sea, while Russia, Turkey and one more party, which will be determined later, escort the ships to the Bosporus," he said at a meeting with the ambassadors of the Arab League nations.

"This country cannot be from the list of unfriendly states that impose or support sanctions against Russia," Bystritsky said. "It is clear that these are not European Union or NATO member countries, or, for example, Australia and New Zealand. This country must be non-aligned in the full sense of this word, independent, having weight on the international arena, having enough resources and personal qualities of its leaders not to turn a blind eye to possible violations and behave in accordance with the agreed rules," the expert said.

"For example, it could be one of the BRICS countries or one of the African states, although quite unexpected options are also possible," Bystritsky added.

In any case, the candidate must be able to negotiate and suit all the parties: Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN. "There should be a consensus on this issue," he added.

Besides, it should be a maritime power with its own fleet, the expert went on to say. "A land-based country like Serbia, which, in principle, could well be considered as one of the candidates, will hardly qualify," he explained.

A package of documents aimed at resolving the issue of food and fertilizer supplies to global markets was signed in Istanbul on July 22. Under a Russia-UN memorandum, the United Nations will engage in efforts to lift anti-Russian restrictions preventing the export of agricultural products and fertilizers. Another document creates a mechanism to export grain from Ukraine-controlled Black Sea ports. Agreements between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN provide for the establishment of a four-party coordination center whose representatives will inspect grain ships in order to prevent arms smuggling and false flag operations.