Turkey’s Erdogan emphasises importance of grain deal in Putin call

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters in Ankara after the second round of the presidential election

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters at the Presidential Palace after his victory in the second round of the presidential election, Ankara, Turkey, May 29, 2023. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

ANKARA, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan emphasised the importance of avoiding steps that could jeopardise the resumption of the Black Sea grain initiative in talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Erdogan’s office said.

The two leaders also agreed that Putin would visit Turkey, the Turkish presidency’s statement said, without giving a date. A senior Turkish official said that discussions between Ankara and Moscow are ongoing for a visit in late August.

Russia quit the deal that had allowed the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain on July 17 and has since attackedUkrainian agricultural and port infrastructure.

Moscow has repeatedly said that it was ready to return to the deal “immediately” once an accompanying agreement concerning Russia was implemented.

Erdogan said last month he hoped Putin’s planned visit could lead to the restoration of the Black Sea grain deal, and called on Western countries to consider Russia’s demands.

Moscow exited the deal complaining that the international community had failed to ensure that Russia could also freely export its grain and fertiliser.

“President Erdogan expressed the importance of refraining from steps that could escalate tensions during the Russia-Ukraine war, emphasizing the significance of the Black Sea initiative, which he described as a bridge of peace,” the Turkish presidency’s statement added.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay, Huseyin Hayatsever, Ezgi Erkoyun and Orhan Coskun;
Editing by Daren Butler, Christina Fincher and Philippa Fletcher

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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