Ergodan lauds ‘historic’ grain deal, promises to talk to Putin

The Black Sea grain initiative has already gone down in history as an example of successful diplomacy, Türkiye’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, following Russia’s announcement of pulling out.

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Speaking at a press conference in Saudi Arabia, Mr Ergodan said he hoped Russia’s president Vladimir Putin still wanted to extend the grain deal.

“Despite today's statement, I believe that Russian president Putin wants this humanitarian bridge to continue,” he said, adding he will raise the topic during the Russian leader’s visit to Türkiye next month.

Earlier on Monday, Russia announced that it would withdraw from the grain deal until its demands were met.

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN signed the grain deal a year ago to ensure the safe export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports. The agreement is in the form of two trilateral treaties – there are no direct agreements between Ukraine and Russia.

The last vessel to leave the port of Odesa under the grain deal, the TQ Samsun bulk carrier with corn bound for the Netherlands, left on Sunday, 16 July.

Since the beginning of July, only eight vessels with 291,000 tonnes of agricultural products have left the Black Sea ports.

In October 2022, Russia had already withdrawn from the grain deal, but Turkey and the UN began inspecting ships carrying Ukrainian grain themselves, forcing Russia to quickly change its mind.