Title: Erdogan and Putin Meet to Restart Grain Deal, Aim to Resolve Differences
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin recently convened in Sochi to discuss the revival of a significant grain deal. The agreement, which had eased a food crisis by facilitating the transportation of Ukrainian grain to global markets, had been terminated by Russia in July due to various hurdles faced by the country’s food and fertilizer exports.
In an effort to ensure food security and alleviate the crisis, Erdogan, along with the support of the United Nations, have been actively engaged in convincing Putin to reinstate the deal. President Erdogan expressed optimism about finding a solution within a short span of time.
However, Putin emphasized that Russia’s return to the deal was contingent upon the West lifting restrictions on its agricultural exports reaching global markets. Responding to Western claims that the suspension of the grain deal was the primary cause of the food crisis, Putin dismissed the allegations, stating that restrictions on payments, logistics, and insurance have significantly hindered Russian exports of food and fertilizers, despite the absence of Western sanctions.
Highlighting the importance of both Russia and Ukraine as major players in the agricultural markets, it was revealed that the nations anticipate a substantial grain harvest this year. The U.N. Secretary-General also sent concrete proposals to Russia aimed at reinvigorating the vital trade deal.
One of Russia’s main demands was the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT international payments system. Putin made it clear that the plan to supply reduced-price Russian grain to Turkey for subsequent processing and shipping should not be misconstrued as an alternate arrangement to the grain deal.
In other agricultural developments, Russia is currently finalizing a deal with six African countries to supply them with free grain, further demonstrating its commitment to worldwide food security.
Overall, the meeting between Erdogan and Putin serves as a positive indication, highlighting the potential for a compromise and a shared desire to resolve differences. Both leaders remain committed to reestablishing the grain deal, which, if successful, would undoubtedly bring relief to the ongoing global food crisis.
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