Ukraine's Foreign Minister Comments on Erdoğan's Negotiations with Putin on Grain Deal

Monday, 4 September 2023

Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, is convinced that the Black Sea Grain Initiative should be restored, but not at the expense of fulfilling Russia's whims.

As Ukrinform reports, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister has commented on the negotiations in Sochi between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, one of the topics of which was the grain deal.

He noted that despite the fact that the negotiations took place without Ukraine, "this does not mean that they speak without Ukraine".

Kuleba noted that Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan recently visited Kyiv before going to Moscow, so Ukraine understands the "general logic of the discussion".

"The Black Sea Grain Initiative must be restored. It must be restored not through blackmail, or the fulfilment of the whims of the Russian Federation. But because there were no legal or political grounds for the Russians to withdraw from the agreement in the first place. If we make concessions now, they will return in a month, leaving the deal again and putting forward new conditions. This is just classic blackmail," Kuleba emphasised.

Before the meeting with Erdoğan in Sochi on 4 September, Putin stated that he was open to discussions about Russia's participation in the grain deal.

However, at a press conference following the meeting, the Russian president said that Moscow was not ready to immediately return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, but was waiting for the fulfilment of the previously set requirements.

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