Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Nov. 18, news agency Anadolu reported, citing Turkey’s Presidential administration. Erdogan thanked Putin for agreeing to extend the U.N.-backed grain initiative and told him that it is important to resume peace talks with Kyiv, according to Anadolu.
Erdogan added that the meeting of the heads of the U.S. and Russian intelligence agencies in Turkey played a key role in “preventing an uncontrolled escalation on the ground.”
CIA Director William Burns and his Russian counterpart Sergei Naryshkin met in Ankara on Nov. 14 to talk about Moscow’s nuclear threats and Russia’s detention of American citizens, according to a White House official, cited by Reuters.
Turkish and Russian presidents also discussed Putin’s proposal to create a natural gas hub in Turkey, Anadolu wrote. Erdogan said that the working groups would soon start discussing the issue, considering the technical, legal, and trade aspects.
Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the UN reached an agreement to extend the grain export deal for four months in Istanbul on Nov. 17.
On Oct. 29, Russia said it was suspending its participation in the grain deal due to a drone attack on Russian warships in the occupied port of Sevastopol. Russia blamed the attack on Ukraine. Kyiv hasn't officially commented on its alleged involvement.
However, on Nov. 2, Russia made a U-turn and said it was staying in the deal.
The grain agreement, called the Black Sea Grain Initiative, was established in July to unblock Ukrainian grain exports from Odesa ports amid Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country.