Erdoğan, Putin to meet on sidelines of summit in Uzbekistan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
Erdoğan departed for Uzbekistan on Sept. 15 to attend the eight-nation security group with Türkiye’s status of “dialogue partner.”
Putin and Erdoğan planned on Sept. 16 to ” evaluate the effectiveness” of a deal under which wheat exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea resumed, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, according to ITAR-Tass.
Russia should also be able to start grain exports as Ukraine does from its ports over a deal, Erdoğan said on Sept. 8, noting that he will discuss this issue with the Russian leader in Samarkand.
Putin was uncomfortable with the grain shipment to the countries which impose sanctions on Russia due to the Ukrainian war, Erdoğan said emphasizing that Türkiye also wants the shipment of Russian grain to start so that these products could be delivered to the poor countries as well.
Russia and Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.N. and Türkiye on July 22 for the resumption of grain export from Ukraine, a major grain exporter, to avoid a food crisis in the world. The operation started on Aug. 1 following the deployment of Ukrainian and Russian officials to the Joint Coordination Center (JCC), along with Turkish and U.N. authorities.
The deal signed by Russia and Ukraine will be valid for 120 days and can be renewed if the parties do not oppose its prolongation. Ukraine is planning to export around 25 million tons of grain to the world by the end of this year.
Russia is also hoping to export its food and fertilizers to the world under certain guarantees provided by the U.N. However, due to the concerns over the shipment, banking and insurance companies, the Russian exports have not started yet.
“The products exported by Russia are not included in the sanction. There are restrictions and embargoes, such as the ability of ships to take service or dock at ports, insurance and banking,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters on Sept. 15.
“When Russia complained about this, I contacted [U.S. Secretary of State Antony] Blinken and [U.N. Secretary-General António) Guterres via phone,” he added.
The American administration has made a statement, along with the U.N. secretary-general, but despite these statements, there are shipping and transport companies that hesitate to transport Russian grain, Çavuşoğlu said.
“But there are no obstacles. So at the moment, Russia can also export its products,” he added.