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People's Daily Online

Facts about Russia-Ukraine conflict: Deal on Ukraine's grain exports to be signed to resolve food crisis

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 11:13, July 22, 2022

BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhua) -- The following are the latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine:

An agreement to resume grain shipment from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea will be signed in Türkiye on Friday in a bid to resolve a global food crisis, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed on Thursday.

"Tomorrow, we will take the first step in Istanbul towards the solution of the food crisis affecting the whole world, together with the UN secretary-general, the delegations of Russia and Ukraine," Cavusoglu tweeted.

"We will continue our efforts to resolve the conflict," he said.

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Russia's aerospace forces hit a temporary deployment point of Ukrainian troops at a recreation center in Ukraine's Odessa region, killing over 600 fighters, among whom were 120 foreign mercenaries, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The high-precision strike was launched on Saturday, said the ministry in a statement.

Meanwhile, another strike on Sunday hit a temporary deployment point of a unit of the Ukrainian armed forces, located in the city of Nikolaev, killing over 320, it added.

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Ukraine's drone strikes, which target nuclear facilities (controlled by Russian army) in Ukraine, could provoke a nuclear catastrophe in all of Europe, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Ukraine is continuing to conduct "provocations," which pose threats to nuclear facilities in the country, the ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova said during her weekly briefing.

"Ukraine's armed forces launched a drone attack on the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on July 18," Zakharova said.

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The European Union on Thursday imposed more sanctions on Russia over its conflict with Ukraine, including a ban on gold imports and the tightening of export controls on high-technology goods.

The "reinforced, prolonged EU sanctions against the Kremlin send a strong signal to Moscow: we will keep the pressure high for as long as it takes," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has tweeted.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell described the additional sanctions as "another important step to curtail Russia's capacity to continue and finance its war of aggression against Ukraine."

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The conflict in Ukraine did not start with a Russian special military operation, but began several years earlier, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with France-Presse News Agency on Thursday.

He noted that in 2015, after lengthy negotiations of the Normandy Format countries -- namely Ukraine, Germany, Russia and France -- in the capital of Belarus, the Minsk agreements on the ceasefire in Donbass were signed, adding that if the agreements had been fulfilled by the Ukrainian authorities, the conflict would not break out today.

Lukashenko also recalled that before the start of the special operation, Russia had repeatedly asked the West to provide security guarantees, but got no positive answer.

The Minsk agreements, reached in September 2014 and February 2015, outline the steps needed to end the conflict between the Ukrainian government troops and local armed groups in Donbass.

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