Espreso. Global

Putin agrees to extend grain deal - Erdoğan

14 July, 2023 Friday
17:39

On Friday, July 14, Turkish President Recep Erdoğan said that Russian leader Vladimir Putin agrees with his opinion on extending the agreement allowing Ukrainian grain exports to the Black Sea

This is reported by the Daily Sabah.

Speaking to reporters, Erdoğan said he hoped the agreement would be extended after July 17 as a result of UN and Turkish efforts.

"We are preparing to welcome Putin in August. We are on the same page with him on the issue of extending the Black Sea grain corridor," Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul.

It is noted that the European Commission is helping the UN and Turkey to try to extend the grain deal and is open to exploring all solutions. This was stated on Thursday by a representative of the European Union.

The UN and Turkey mediated a grain deal between Russia and Ukraine in July 2022 to help alleviate the global food crisis, which has been exacerbated by Russia's invasion and blockade of Ukrainian ports.

Some details about the grain deal

The agreement, known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, was concluded between Russia and Ukraine with the mediation of the UN and Turkey in July 2022 in Istanbul. It has since been extended several times.

In January, the Ministry of Infrastructure said that as a result of Russian actions in the Bosphorus, the world loses millions of tons of Ukrainian food every month. The occupiers are hampering the inspection of ships that export grain to third world countries.

In March 2023, the Russian Federation informed the parties that the agreement would be extended for only 60 days instead of 120. These agreements were due to expire on May 18.

To extend it, the Russians demanded:

  • reconnecting Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT

  • resumption of supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and service

  • lifting restrictions on insurance and reinsurance plus lifting the ban on access to ports

  • resumption of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline

  • unblocking foreign assets and accounts of Russian companies related to the production and transportation of food and fertilizers.

On May 17, the grain deal was extended for 60 days. The Russians' demands were not met.

Doubts about the continuation of the grain deal were also voiced in the UK on July 4.

On June 5, the Russian Federation said it saw no prospects for extending the agreement in July, and on June 22, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said it did not see the Russians' readiness to continue the grain initiative.

On July 5, the UN announced its readiness to send a representative to Moscow to "save the grain deal."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has offered Russian President Putin to extend the grain deal in exchange for reconnecting Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT. The Kremlin had demanded this earlier

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on July 8 that his country is working on extending the grain deal for two years.

On July 12, Turkey’s Erdogan said that he had received proposals from Putin to extend the grain deal.

On July 13, Putin said that Russia would continue the grain deal when it fulfills its obligations to it, but the EU is against connecting Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT, as previously demanded by the Kremlin.

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