FILE PHOTO: A dockyard worker watches as barley grain is mechanically poured into a 40,000 ton ship at a Ukrainian agricultural exporter's shipment terminal in the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolaev July 9, 2013. REUTERS/Vincent Mundy/File Photo

Ukrainian grain exports are still stuck in ports due to the Russian naval blockade in the Black Sea. The resulting increase in wheat prices hit poorer countries in Africa in particular. However, at a meeting of the two warring parties and a Turkish and a UN delegation on Wednesday in Istanbul, initial success was achieved in resuming exports, reports the Wall Street Journal.

First of all, a coordination center for grain exports is to be set up in Istanbul, the report says. The strait running through Istanbul, over which Turkey has sovereignty, is the only sea route from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.

In a next step, Ukraine could export grain from three Ukrainian ports. A ceasefire for a corresponding sea corridor is intended to guarantee the safety of the ships. In addition, the shipping route is to be cleared of sea mines.

Important from a Russian point of view: The ships should first be checked by the Turkish Navy to ensure that they are not misused for western arms deliveries.

As the “WSJ” further reports, the approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin is still required for a final agreement. “The most important thing is that we still need the green light from Putin,” the newspaper quoted a Western official as saying. A failure of the negotiations is still possible. “It would be wrong to say that an agreement is imminent,” another person close to the negotiations was quoted as saying.