Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu discussed the Ukraine crisis and the issue of food security in a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the G-20 ministerial meeting in Bali on Thursday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Çavuşoğlu and Sergey Lavrov had a thorough exchange on international and regional affairs with particular emphasis on the situation in Ukraine, the ministry’s statement said.
In February, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine. The West, in reaction, imposed tough sanctions on Moscow, providing Kyiv with economic and military support.
The war has also created a global food crisis as the blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports is choking global food supply chains.
Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from the territories that Russian forces have seized since its invasion began in late February. The Kremlin has denied that Russia stole any Ukrainian grain.
Turkey has been playing a mediator role to enable the stranded grain to the world markets while also saying that it is investigating allegations that Russia has stolen Ukrainian grain.
Ankara said it would not allow any such grain to be brought to the country. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar had earlier said Turkish buyers were among those receiving grain that Russia had stolen from Ukraine, adding he had sought Turkey’s help to identify and capture individuals responsible for the alleged shipments.
“The importance was emphasized of further coordination … to ensure the safety of civilians and economic operators in Ukraine, including foreign ones,” the ministry said, adding that issues including interaction in the Black Sea were also touched upon.
“The ministers expressed satisfaction with the dynamics of the political dialogue between our countries at the highest and high level in 2022. They confirmed their readiness to continue close contacts between the leadership of Russia and Türkiye, including in the face-to-face format,” the statement said.
Çavuşoğlu, in a tweet, said he discussed with Lavrov “war in Ukraine, food security & Syria.”
Meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi
In a separate statement, the ministry said Lavrov also met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and the two “praised the current state of the cooperation between the two countries, expressed mutual interest in further deepening ties.”
“Lavrov informed his Chinese counterpart about the implementation of the main tasks of the special military operation,” the statement said, adding that the ministers stressed the inadmissibility of imposing the “illegitimate” and “unilateral” sanctions.
“A confidential exchange of views was held on topical regional and international issues with an emphasis on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, including in the light of ongoing attempts to create narrow-block structures in the region,” the statement said.
The two ministers also pointed out the importance of developing cooperation in the BRICS, SCO and RIC formats.
“The ministers stated that in the conditions of a difficult geopolitical situation, Russia and China continue to increase strategic cooperation, speak from common or very close positions on the absolute majority of the issues discussed,” the statement read.
China has called for an end to the war but has not condemned Russia. It has also decried one-sided Western sanctions on Moscow.