Türkiye working against end of Black Sea grain deal and resulting fallout: President

Türkiye working against end of Black Sea grain deal and resulting fallout: President

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will discuss Black Sea grain deal with Russia's Putin, adding: 'I believe we will ensure continuation of humanitarian arrangement'

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – Ending the Black Sea grain deal as announced this week would hit hard in numerous ways, warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adding that Türkiye is already working to prevent this.

"The termination of the Black Sea grain initiative will have a range of (harmful) effects, ranging from raising global food prices, in some regions to famine, and then new waves of migration. We do not hesitate to take the initiative to prevent this," Erdogan told reporters on Thursday on the presidential plane returning from a three-nation Gulf tour.

"I believe that by discussing the issue in detail with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, we will ensure the continuation of this humanitarian movement,” he added, hinting at Türkiye’s unique role as a country on good terms with both Russia and Ukraine, which helped it originally broker the deal along with the UN.

On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the deal, which it signed last July along with Türkiye, the UN, and Ukraine to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. But even when renewing the deal in previous months, Moscow has complained that the Russian part of the agreement was not being implemented.

Erdogan said Putin has expectations from Western countries on the grain deal, adding: "Western countries need to take action in this regard."

Under the landmark deal, more than 33 million tons of grain was shipped from Ukrainian ports, preventing a global food crisis, he said, adding: "The continuation of such a vital initiative in terms of its results is for the benefit of humanity."

Erdogan denied rumors that Türkiye's importance in mediation between Russia and Ukraine has fallen.

"On the contrary, we are currently maintaining our relations with Russia. Both Foreign Minister Hakan (Fidan), and (National Intelligence Organization) MIT head Ibrahim (Kalin) continue their negotiations," Erdogan added.

- Talks with Putin

The president added that he might soon have a phone call with Putin without waiting for a possible August meeting.

Previously, Erdogan said Putin is expected to visit Türkiye in August to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues, including the Black Sea grain deal.

"Russia also has some expectations. If these are met, Russia is in favor of active operation of this grain corridor," he added.

Türkiye will use all its diplomatic tools to make sure the Black Sea grain deal resumes, he said, adding: "A consensus has been reached that serves humanity in a war environment, and we will do our best to keep it going.

He said hopefully: "I believe that we will ensure continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative before the process is prolonged."

Türkiye, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war, now over 500 days old, through negotiations.

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