Erdoğan to meet Putin 'soon' in Russia for grain deal - M5 Dergi
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Erdoğan to meet Putin ‘soon’ in Russia for grain deal

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is set to travel to Russia next week and meet President Vladimir Putin, which could mean progress in bringing Russia back to the critical Black Sea grain deal, Türkiye’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesperson Ömer Çelik confirmed

“President Erdoğan has so far led an intense diplomacy in order to help prevent a global food crisis,” Çelik told reporters in Ankara following the party’s Central Decision-Making and Administrative Committee meeting.

The meeting will be in Sochi, according to Çelik.

His remarks come as Ankara has been intensifying its efforts in recent weeks to restore the grain corridor, which was brokered by Türkiye and the United Nations in July 2022 to help alleviate a global food crisis. It allowed grain shipments from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports until Russia exited the deal last month, complaining that it was unable to export its own grain and fertilizer despite commitments made under the deal.

A temporary corridor established by Ukraine’s government has been operating under the radar since, with the second container ship sailing through Türkiye’s Istanbul strait on Saturday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday to discuss the deal, as well as his peace formula for ending the war with Russia.

Earlier Monday Tass news agency said Fidan would also meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, likely preceding Erdoğan and Putin’s meeting.

Putin told Erdoğan in a phone call on Aug. 2 that Moscow was ready to return to the Black Sea grain deal as soon as the West met its obligations regarding Russia’s own grain exports.

Russia’s grain and fertilizer exports are not subject to Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over its military actions in Ukraine. But Moscow has said restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance have been a barrier to shipments.

Global grain prices have risen since Moscow let the deal expire on July 17, while Russia has repeatedly attacked Ukrainian ports and grain storage facilities.

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