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17 Jul, 2023 11:49

Erdogan to talk grain deal resumption with Putin

Russia has terminated the Black Sea Initiative, citing unfulfilled promises by the West
Erdogan to talk grain deal resumption with Putin

Türkiye believes that Russia is interested in continuing the Black Sea grain deal despite Moscow announcing on Monday that it was ending its involvement in the agreement, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed.

The arrangement “went down in history as a diplomatic success,” the Turkish leader said during a press conference on Monday. Erdogan insisted that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, wanted the deal to survive, and that the two would soon talk on the phone about a possible way forward.

Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the scheme “effectively ceased to be in effect today.”

Russia has accused the UN of failing to deliver on its part of the bargain, which included lifting Western economic sanctions hampering Russian exports of foodstuffs and fertilizers. Unless that changes, Moscow will no longer keep up its end of the deal either, Peskov said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the UN and Türkiye had been formally notified that Moscow had opted against renewing the grain deal again, resulting in its expiration on Monday.

Formally known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the agreement between Moscow and Kiev was mediated by the UN and Türkiye last summer. It allowed Ukrainian grain to be shipped by sea, with merchant ships being inspected to prevent misuse of the arrangement.

The deal was touted as a way to alleviate a food price hike in the world’s poorest nations. However, Moscow said that contrary to the deal’s stated goal, European nations were the primary recipients of the shipments.