Erdoğan Comments on Russia's Withdrawal from "Grain Deal" and Announces Conversation with Putin

Monday, 17 July 2023

President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin actually wants the extension of the so-called "grain deal" and intends to discuss it with him.

According to CNN Turk and Anadolu, Erdoğan stated before his working trip that the Black Sea grain initiative has already entered history as a significant diplomatic success and has allowed the transportation of over 33 million tons of grain, preventing food shortages in many countries.

"Despite the statement today, I believe that Russian President Putin wants this humanitarian bridge to continue" Erdoğan said at a news conference in Istanbul before heading to Saudi Arabia for an official visit.

He added that he might "take steps via a phone call with Putin without waiting for August," when the Russian leader is expected to make a personal visit to Türkiye.

Earlier on July 17, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Russian President, announced the suspension of the "grain deal." Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, informed RIA Novosti that Russia has officially notified Türkiye, Ukraine, and the UN Secretary General today about its objections to the extension of the "grain deal."

Recently, Russia has regularly threatened not to extend the grain corridor despite calls from the UN and Türkiye, mediators in the agreement.

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin shared the same opinion on extending "grain deal."

However, later the Kremlin refuted the statements made by the Turkish president.

According to media reports, the EU was considering concessions to the Russian bank for the sake of the "grain deal," incliding the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) to the international payment network SWIFT.

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