Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in Russia’s coastal city of Sochi for talks. Reviving last year’s historic Black Sea grain deal that helped ease global food crisis was on the agenda between the leaders, who later held a joint news conference.
According to international media reports, during his day-long working visit on Monday, Erdogan discussed current regional and global issues, as well as bilateral relations with Putin.
“Anticipation is high for this visit, as it holds significant importance for our relations and the grain corridor issue,” President Erdogan said.
“I firmly believe that following our discussions and the subsequent press meeting, the messages conveyed to the world, particularly those aimed at less developed African nations, will be a highly positive step forward,” he added.
Russian President Putin said during the meeting that Russia is ready to talks on restoring the grain deal. “I know that you intend to raise questions about the grain deal. We’re open to negotiations on that subject,” he told Erdogan.
“We are progressing in establishing a gas presence in Türkiye to promote a more balanced energy landscape in the region,” Putin said. “We have expanded opportunities for Turkish products in the Russian market with promising growth in volumes.”
On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the deal, brokered by Türkiye and the UN, to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports that were paused after the Ukraine war, which started in February 2022.
Moscow has complained that the West has not met its obligations regarding Russia’s own grain exports, and that not enough Ukrainian grain was going to countries in need. It says restrictions on payments, logistics, and insurance have been a barrier to its shipments.
Confirming the importance of fulfilling Russia’s demands for the export of its own grain and fertilizer, Türkiye says there is no alternative to the initiative.
Ankara has been carrying out intense diplomatic efforts for the restoration of the July 2022 deal and has also called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war through negotiations.
In July, Erdogan also met his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Istanbul to discuss the matters.