Turkey Says Thinks Black Sea Grain Deal Can Be Restored Soon

By Reuters
September 4, 2023Russia–Ukraine War
Turkey Says Thinks Black Sea Grain Deal Can Be Restored Soon
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Sochi, Russia, on Sept. 4, 2023. (Sergei Guneev/Sputnik/Pool via Reuters)

MOSCOW—Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said he thought it would soon be possible to revive the Black Sea grain deal that helped get Ukrainian grain to market, after talks on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia quit the deal in July—a year after it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey—saying that its own food and fertilizer exports faced obstacles.

Mr. Erdogan, who previously played a significant role in convincing Mr. Putin to stick with the deal, and the United Nations are trying to get Mr. Putin to return to the deal.

“As Turkey, we believe that we will reach a solution that will meet the expectations in a short time,” Mr. Erdogan said in the Black Sea resort of Sochi after his first face to face meeting with Mr. Putin since 2022.

Mr. Putin said the West was still restricting Russian agricultural exports.

Putin Erdogan
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia, on Sept. 4, 2023. (Murat Cetinmuhurdar/PPO/Handout via Reuters)

“We will be ready to consider the possibility of reviving the grain deal and I told Mr President about this again today—we will do this as soon as all the agreements on lifting restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products are fully implemented,” Mr. Putin said beside Mr. Erdogan.

The deal was aimed at getting grain from Ukraine to world markets through the Black Sea and easing the global food crisis.

Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s key agricultural producers, and major players in the wheat, barley, maize, rapeseed, rapeseed oil, sunflower seed, and sunflower oil markets.

While Russian exports of food and fertilizer are not subject to Western sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has said restrictions on payments, logistics, and insurance have hindered shipments.

“The West continues to block the supply of grain and fertilisers from the Russian Federation to world markets,” Mr. Putin said, adding that the West had “cheated” Russia over the deal.

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