Espreso. Global
Updated

Putin sets conditions for Russia's return to grain deal after talks with Erdogan

4 September, 2023 Monday
18:10

On Monday, September 4th, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a one-day working visit to Sochi to meet with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin

Russian Kommersant online newspaper wrote about Putin's statements after his meeting with the Turkish president.

The dictator said that Russia was forced to withdraw from the grain deal, and the West was blocking the fulfillment of its obligations under the agreement.

"While Russia provided security along the grain corridor, the other side used humanitarian corridors for terrorist attacks. Russia is ready to consider the possibility of resuscitating the grain deal as soon as all the agreements are fulfilled," the Russian leader was quoted as saying.

As of 2:48 p.m., it was reported that the negotiations in a broad format had ended, they lasted an hour and a half, according to RIA Novosti.

During the talks with Erdogan, Putin expressed hope that negotiations on the creation of a gas hub would be completed soon to make the energy situation more stable.

Interfax-Ukraine reports that in Brussels, European Commission representative Peter Stano voiced expectations that the meeting between the Turkish and Russian presidents would result in a return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative and an end to Russia's war against Ukraine.

"The general expectation is that Russia will at least return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and the main expectation is that Russia will stop its illegal aggression against Ukraine, which also includes the blockade of the Black Sea, which aims to (block) Ukrainian grain exports," Stano said.

According to TASS, the meeting between the two Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, started at 13:20.

Reportedly, the Russian President invited Erdogan to take a vacation in Sochi.

Beforehand, Anadolu reported that the Turkish leader was greeted at the Sochi International Airport by several Russian officials. Erdogan is accompanied by his wife and ten other Turkish officials. 

During this one-day visit, the Turkish leader intends to discuss the "grain agreement" and Russia's conflict with Ukraine. They will also address the state of Turkish-Russian relations, including cooperation in energy, trade, the economy, and tourism.

Here's what we know about the Erdogan-Putin meeting

On July 16, the last ship loaded with Ukrainian agricultural products under the initiative left the port of Odesa.

On July 17, Russia announced the termination of the grain deal. In response, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that it was necessary to continue using the grain corridor despite Russia's withdrawal from the agreement. 

On August 2, the United States said it had information that Russia was interested in resuming negotiations on the agreement, which ensured safe Black Sea grain exports.

Erdogan also announced an agreement with Putin on a visit to Turkey to discuss the extension of the grain deal.

On August 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his intention to resume the grain deal with an “expanded scope” and called on Western countries to “fulfill their promises”.

Ihor Semivolos, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, suggested on Espreso TV that the outcome of the Erdogan-Putin meeting could potentially lead to Russia's return to the "grain agreement."

By August 20, Turkey was actively working on reinstating the export of agricultural products from Ukraine. The termination of the "grain agreement" had already caused a 15% increase in global grain prices.

On August 29, Erdogan's party confirmed his upcoming meeting with Putin in Sochi.

On August 31, just before the Erdogan-Putin meeting, the foreign affairs heads of Turkey and Russia met in Moscow to discuss the "grain agreement" and efforts to bring peace to Ukraine.

On September 3, it was revealed that one of the topics of discussion between Erdogan and Putin will be the exchange of prisoners.

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