18Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced optimism about restoring a crucial UN-brokered grain deal after Monday talks with his Russian opposite number Vladimir Putin.
Moscow abandoned the deal, which created corridors for Ukraine’s food exports amid a global food shortage, in early July. Russia complained that the West was blocking its own grain and fertilizer exports.
In a press conference after three hours of talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the Turkish president said he believed a solution could be found soon to revive the agreement. With new proposals from the United Nations aimed at addressing Russia’s concerns, Erdogan said he hoped to reach a workable solution before long.
“We have prepared a new proposal package in consultation with the UN. I believe that it is possible to get results. I believe that a solution that will meet Turkey’s expectations will be reached soon.”
Erdogan also said alternatives to the original grain deal that have been floated by Moscow and Kyiv “could not provide a lasting solution.”
Putin said Russia was ready to revive the deal “as soon” as restrictions on its own exports were lifted.
“We will be ready to consider the possibility of reviving the grain deal… and we will do it as soon as all the agreements on lifting restrictions on Russian agricultural exports are fully implemented,” Putin said alongside Erdogan.
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