Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he aims to revive the Black Sea grain deal with an “expanded scope,” calling on western countries to help turn the initiative into the basis for peace between Russia and Ukraine.
(Bloomberg) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he aims to revive the Black Sea grain deal with an “expanded scope,” calling on western countries to help turn the initiative into the basis for peace between Russia and Ukraine.
“We had another chance to learn first hand Russia’s demands and expectations during a phone call with” Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Erdogan said in Ankara late Tuesday, adding that the two leaders shared a “sensitivity” on the need for grain to reach Africa.
Contacts to restart the initiative “with an expanded scope” are ongoing but a solution depends on western countries “fulfilling their promises,” he added, without specifying which commitments had been broken.
“Unfortunately in the previous period the principle of loyalty wasn’t observed. No diplomatic steps were taken to turn the positive atmosphere created by the Black Sea initiative into a cease-fire and then permanent peace.”
What End of Ukraine Grain Export Deal Means for World: QuickTake
Throughout the grain deal’s year-long run that ended in July, Russia made repeated demands over efforts to improve its own food and fertilizer trade, including resuming an ammonia pipeline that ran through Ukraine and the reconnection of its Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT system.
When Russia exited the deal last month, the United Nations — which helped broker the original pact with Turkey — said the agency had “delivered breakthroughs in some of the most challenging areas of trade facilitation” and worked with private-sector banks and insurance providers to find solutions. Russia’s grain exports are strong and its fertilizer sales are nearing full recovery, it said.
Erdogan and Putin spoke on the phone last week for the first time since Russia pulled out of the grain deal to discuss the Russian leader’s planned visit to Turkey later this month.
–With assistance from Megan Durisin.
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