Russia's proposals on how to bring about a resumption of Ukrainian grain exports were "largely supported" by negotiators taking part in talks this week in Istanbul, the Russian defence ministry said on Friday, and an agreement was close.

The ministry said that work on what it calls the "Black Sea Initiative" will be finalised soon.

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are due to sign a deal next week aimed at resuming Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports, which have been severely hampered by the conflict in Ukraine. (Reporting by Reuters)