Erdogan says plans talks with Putin for extension of Black Sea grain deal

By Xinhua
On 22 July 2023 at 08:07

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would talk with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin soon for the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the state-run TRT broadcaster reported Friday.

"The termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative will have a series of consequences, ranging from an increase in global food prices, famine in some regions, to potential new waves of migration," Erdogan told reporters on his flight back to Türkiye.

"I believe we will ensure the continuation of this humanitarian movement by discussing the issue in detail with Mr. Putin," he said.

The statement came after a quartet meeting was held by the delegations of Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, and the United Nations in Istanbul. (Xinhua)

The Turkish president noted that Moscow’s expectations of the grain initiative should also be met.

"We know he also has some expectations from Western countries. Western countries need to take action in this regard," Erdogan said.

The president said he planned to have a phone conversation first and then discuss the issue face-to-face.

"If Mr. Putin’s planned visit in August takes place, we will discuss these issues in detail. I believe we will ensure the continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative before the process is prolonged," Erdogan said.

Russia has complained that its demands to improve its own grain and fertilizer exports have not been met, and refused to extend the grain deal on Monday.

Russia and Ukraine signed separately with Türkiye and the United Nations the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Istanbul in July 2022, which allowed Ukraine to export its grain and other agricultural products from its Black Sea ports.

The initiative, which was initially valid for 120 days, was extended in mid-November 2022 for another 120 days until March 18, 2023. Russia then agreed to extend the deal for only 60 days. On May 17, Russia agreed to extend the deal for another 60 days.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow, Russia, on March 5, 2020. (Sputnik/Handout via Xinhua)