Erdogan attempts to revive Black Sea grain deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday for talks on the revival of the Black Sea grain deal.

“The message to be conveyed to the world (on the Black Sea Grain Initiative) after our meeting is a step towards underdeveloped African countries, which will be essential,” Erdogan told media in a brief statement before his first face-to-face meeting with Putin since October last year.

Erdogan and Putin are also expected to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues, Türkiye’s semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.

“Currently, the trade volume between Türkiye and Russia is 62 billion U.S. dollars. We are very glad that we are taking steps towards the target of reaching 100 billion,” Anadolu quoted Erdogan as saying.

Türkiye has tried to revive the Black Sea Grain Initiative by acting as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine.

The agreement, which had been brokered by Türkiye and the United Nations in July 2022 in Istanbul, encountered a setback when Russia decided to withdraw from it on July 17, alleging unfulfilled obligations by its counterparts.

Ankara says that Western countries should try to address Russia’s complaints and that it hopes Russia would return to the deal.

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