Title: Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Putin Revive Talks on Grain Deal
In a crucial meeting held in Sochi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the revival of a grain deal that previously helped alleviate a food crisis. The deal involved transporting Ukrainian grain to market and played a vital role in easing the shortage. However, Russia withdrew from the agreement in July, citing obstacles to its own food and fertilizer exports.
Pushing for a resolution, Erdogan, along with the support of the United Nations, aimed to convince Putin to reconsider the deal. Expressing optimism, Erdogan revealed that proposals addressing Russian concerns had been put forth by Turkey and the United Nations. He suggested that Ukraine should consider exporting more grain to Africa instead of Europe, in an attempt to soften its negotiating stance with Russia.
While Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba maintained that Ukraine would not alter its position, he acknowledged Turkey’s account of the Sochi talks. Putin emphasized that Russia could return to the deal if restrictions on its agricultural exports were lifted by Western countries. It is important to note that Putin refuted claims of a food crisis, stating that there was no physical shortage of food.
Substantial hindrances to Russian exports of food and fertilizer, including restrictions on payments, logistics, and insurance, were raised as key concerns. Putin went on to accuse the West of cheating Russia in the grain deal, claiming that the majority of the exported grain benefited wealthy nations.
The United Nations Secretary-General has intervened by sending proposals aimed at rekindling the agreement to the Russian Foreign Minister. Among Russia’s demands is the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT international payments system.
However, Putin clarified that supplying reduced-price Russian grain to Turkey for processing and shipment to countries in need should not be seen as an alternative to the original grain deal. Meanwhile, Russia is on the brink of finalizing a deal with six African countries, ensuring the supply of up to 50,000 tonnes of grain to each country free of charge.
As major agricultural producers and crucial players in various markets, Russia and Ukraine hold significant sway in global food supplies. The outcome of ongoing negotiations will have far-reaching implications for the agricultural sector across the world.
This news article was written by Guy Faulconbridge and featured additional reporting by Lidia Kelly, Orhan Coskun, Ece Toksabay, and Michelle Nichols. The article was edited by Robert Birsel, Philippa Fletcher, and Ron Popeski.
“Infuriatingly humble tv expert. Friendly student. Travel fanatic. Bacon fan. Unable to type with boxing gloves on.”