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Erdogan to discuss new Ukrainian grain export mechanism with Putin – Turkish Foreign Ministry

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss a new mechanism for exporting Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea when they meet in Türkiye.

Source: Foreign Minister of Türkiye Hakan Fidan in an interview with A Haber TV channel on Sunday, reported by Reuters

Details: Putin is expected to visit Türkiye on 12 February. This will be the Russian president’s first trip to a NATO member state since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Fidan said efforts were underway to find “new methods” of transporting Ukrainian grain to world markets.

“The previous grain deal worked within a certain mechanism. Now it has been seen that there is a possibility of going with a different mechanism, and now there are efforts to concretise this possibility,” the Turkish Foreign Minister said, adding that Erdogan will raise the issue during his meeting with Putin.

Fidan noted that some ships have been able to transport Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea even without an agreement with Russia.

“We want to make this de facto [situation] clear with the new mechanism,” he said.

Background:

  • On 29 January, the Kremlin said Putin would visit Türkiye in February.

  • On 31 January Reuters reported, citing a Turkish official, that Putin might visit Türkiye on 12 February.

  • Russia unilaterally withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2023 and has repeatedly attacked Ukraine’s port grain infrastructure since then. The grain deal was brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye to ensure safe passage for exports from Ukrainian ports.

  • Ukraine managed to reopen the Greater Odesa ports without the involvement of third parties, which became possible due to military factors, particularly the attack on a Russian landing ship in August. [The three ports of Greater Odesa are Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdenny (Southern) – ed.]

  • As of December, over 7 million tonnes of cargo have been exported from the Pivdennyi, Odesa and Chornomorsk ports since 8 August, of which nearly 5 million tonnes are agricultural products from Ukrainian farmers.

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