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Media: Russia, Turkey, Qatar prepare new agreement on grain exports

by Martin Fornusek August 18, 2023 10:00 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation leaders' summit in Samarkand on Sept. 16, 2022. (Photo: Getty Images)
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The governments of Russia, Turkey, and Qatar are preparing a new agreement on grain exports following Moscow's termination of the grain deal, the German newspaper Bild reported on Aug. 18, citing official correspondence it has obtained.

According to communication between the Turkish and Russian embassies between July 21 and Aug. 8, Moscow has reportedly warned Ankara in advance that it plans to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Now, the two countries and Qatar are jointly working to set up a new deal to replace the previous agreement which has allowed Ukraine to export nearly 33 million metric tons of food via the Black Sea, Bild said.

The outlet wrote that based on the new deal, Russia would be supplying its grain, primarily to African countries, Qatar would sponsor the supplies, and Turkey would be in charge of organizing the deal.

Bild noted that Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan asked Russia to resume the previous grain deal so that food can again be exported also from Ukraine. Ankara also wants to act under the auspices of the U.N., the newspaper added.

The new deal could be reportedly closed as early as this weekend in Budapest, as the head of Russia's Tatarstan Republic Rustam Minnikhanov has already arrived in Hungary's capital, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to come as well, the outlet said.

Following its decision to withdraw from the grain deal on July 17, Moscow wants to plug the whole on the global food market left by the deal's collapse. Ukraine is one of the world's leading grain producers, with many countries in the Global South relying on its exports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed to supplant Ukrainian exports to Africa with Russian grain while attempting to lure Turkey to join the scheme.

The Financial Times reported already on July 21 that the Kremlin seeks to strike a new grain deal in cooperation with Turkey and Qatar. At the time, the outlet noted that neither of the two countries have so far agreed with the idea.

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.
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