A fight between members of the Russian and Ukrainian delegations broke out during the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC).
Ukrainian journalist Denis Gorokhovsky posted a video of the incident, showing a Russian delegate snatching the Ukrainian flag from the hands of Verkhovna Rada deputy Oleksandr Marikovsky, leading to a physical altercation between the two delegates.
The Russian news agency TASS also reported on the incident. A source told that outlet that the Ukrainian delegate “attacked” the secretary of the Russian delegation, Valery Stavitsky, in the corridor of the hotel where the summit was held. But TASS he did not mention that it all started because the Russian diplomat snatched the Ukrainian flag from the hands of the Rada deputy.
The 61st PABSEC General Assembly is held in Ankara on days May 4 and 5. The summit agenda includes the issue of confirmation of the mandates of the members of the national delegation of the Russian Federation.
Technical staff from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations will meet on Friday to discuss an agreement allowing Ukrainian grain exports in the Black Sea, said the Turkish defense minister, Hulusi Akar.
The evacuation of Turkish-flagged ships and grain shipments from Black Sea ports will be discussed as part of the deal, Akar said.
Ankara is working to extend the agreement that will expire on May 18. Friday’s meeting would be technical and would be followed by a meeting of vice ministers next week, Akar said in a Turkish Defense Ministry statement.
“We continue our efforts to ensure that the grain initiative continues in a fast, safe and planned manner. From the discussions, we have the impression that these efforts will produce positive results,” Akar said.
The United Nations and Turkey negotiated what was described as a package in July last year: the safe resumption of Black Sea grain exports from Ukraine and a UN commitment to help Russian grain and fertilizer shipments.
Russia has a list of demands it wants to meet for the continuation of the Black Sea pact, which the UN says is helping to address a global food crisis made worse by Moscow’s war on Ukraine.
(With information from Reuters)
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