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Turkey, Russia, UN Chief, hold talks on grain deal termination

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 18, 2023 4:40 PM 2 min read
Kavo Perdika, a cargo vessel carrying Ukrainian grain, sails via Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey, on Nov. 2, 2022. (Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images)
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Turkish foreign minister Hakan Fidan held talks by phone on July 18 with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and U.N. Secretary General António Guterres on Russia's exit from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, according to Turkish diplomatic sources cited by Anadolu Agency.

The deal, which ended Russia's blockade of Ukrainian ports, collapsed after Russia pulled out from the agreement on July 17. The Ukrainian government has referred to Russia's decision as "blackmail."

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed that the deal collapsed due to Russia's demands not being implemented. "Therefore, its deal has been terminated. As soon as the Russian part is completed, the Russian side will return to the implementation of this deal immediately."

Putin has said that Moscow's demands focus on logistics, insurance, and the movement of money when paying for Russian products.

Guterres has condemned the decision and stated that millions of people around the world at risk of hunger "will pay the price." To meet Moscow's demands, he proposed that a subsidiary of the sanctioned Russian Agricultural Bank will be reconnected to SWIFT. The UN has also offered to assist Russia with its food and fertilizer exports.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he believes that Russia wants to continue the grain deal, despite having withdrawn.

Ukraine war latest: Grain deal collapses after Russia pulls from agreement
Key Developments on July 17: * Grain deal collapses after Russia pulls from agreement * Crimean Bridge damaged after reported explosions * Military: Russian forces on the offensive in Lyman-Kupiansk direction * Foreign Ministry marks 9-year anniversary of Russian downing of MH17 * More Wagner…
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