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Erdogan reportedly arrives in Russia to discuss grain deal with Putin

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 4, 2023 2:05 PM 2 min read
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attends a press conference during NATO Summit at LITEXPO Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Center in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 12, 2023. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in the Russian city of Sochi for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu reported on Sept. 4.

According to Anadolu, their negotiations will focus on the potential restoration of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, unilaterally terminated by Moscow in mid-July.

Erdogan and Putin will also reportedly discuss the latest developments in Russia's war against Ukraine as well as bilateral relations between the two countries, including cooperation in energy, trade, economy, and tourism.

A day before, the Turkish presidency announced that Erdogan would pay a one-day working visit to Sochi at Putin's invitation.

According to the Kremlin's press service, Putin previously said he is willing to restore the grain corridor once the West "fulfills all the obligations to Russia" regarding the deal.

Putin attempts to bribe African leaders with free grain after pulling out of grain deal
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin told African leaders at the Africa-Russia Summit on July 27 that Russia is ready to offer their countries grain supplies to replace Ukrainian grain exports that are now virtually blocked after Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative earlier this month.

Moscow withdrew from the Black Sea grain deal on July 17, causing spikes in wheat prices and fears about food security worldwide. The agreement previously allowed Ukraine to export its grain through its Black Sea ports amid the ongoing Russian full-scale invasion.

The Kremlin justified the decision ahead of a July 27-28 summit with African leaders by claiming the deal only served "to enrich Western businesses," and that promises about facilitating Russia's grain and fertilizer exports had not been met.

Turkey, positioning itself as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia, played an important role in brokering the grain deal in July 2022. Since the agreement's collapse, Ankara has been in contact with both Kyiv and Moscow, discussing the options for its restoration.

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