Erdogan optimistic about reviving Black Sea grain deal after meeting with Putin

05 September 20232 min reading

After discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes in the potential revival of the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain-export deal.

After a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his optimism about the resumption of the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain-export initiative. "We believe that the initiative should continue by addressing its shortcomings. In this regard, we have prepared a proposal package in collaboration with the United Nations. We hope that we can achieve a solution that will meet the expectations soon," Erdogan stated.

Erdogan also mentioned the alternatives suggested to the original grain deal, asserting that they "could not provide a sustainable and reliable model based on inter-party cooperation similar to the Black Sea Initiative."

Turkey, a NATO member, has been trying to persuade Russia to re-join the Black Sea Grain Initiative after its withdrawal in July. This pull-out terminated a year of safeguarded exports from Ukrainian ports in the midst of the conflict. Since Russia's incursion into Ukraine early last year, Erdogan has been navigating a delicate balance in maintaining cordial ties with both nations.

Moreover, Erdogan emphasized their ongoing commitment to ensuring lasting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. "We have previously hosted direct negotiations between the parties (Russia-Ukraine). As always, we are ready to play our part in this matter," he affirmed.

Erdogan highlighted significant advancements made with the United Nations on the grain shipment issue, adding, "For a successful outcome through this new process, it's essential for Ukraine to soften its stance in taking mutual steps with Russia."

In the meeting, Putin also shared plans about logistical preparations to send 1 million tons of grain to impoverished countries. In response, Erdogan assured Turkey's readiness to assist, "Whatever the task at hand, we, as Turkey, are here to fulfill it." The two leaders also discussed collaborating with Qatar in sending grain in the form of flour to African nations, expressing hope to stand by these countries in their needs.

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