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Russia open to negotiating on Black Sea Grain Intiative

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Sep. 4, 2023.   -  
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Sergei Guneyev/Sputnik


The president of Turkey and his Russian counterpart met for the first time this year on Monday (Sep. 04)

NATO member Turkey is hoping to revive the Balck sea grain deal and use it as a basis for restarting peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

"Of course, we will not bypass the issues related to the Ukrainian crisis. I know you intend to raise questions about the grain deal. We are open to negotiations on this issue."

Russia refused to extend the deal in July, arguing that the section of the agreement to remove obstacles to Russian exports of food and fertilizer hadn’t been honored.

It said restrictions on shipping and insurance hampered its agricultural trade even though it has shipped record amounts of wheat since last year.

Putin said that if those commitments were honored, Russia could return to the deal "within the nearest days."

The deal has mostly allowed Ukraine to export grain safely through the Black Sea and guaranteeing a ceasefire in the Odessa area.

Agreements with 6 African countries

President Vladimir Putin also said that Russia is close to finalizing an agreement to provide free grain to six African countries. The Russian leader added that Russia will ship 1 million metric tons (1.1 million tons) of cheap grain to Turkey for processing and delivery to poor countries.

The Black Sea grain deal was brokered by the UN and Turkey in July 2022.

Of all the grain exported by Ukraine, China, Spain and Turkey are the main beneficiaries, data from the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul shows.

High-income countries account for 43.6% of deliveries. Over 14 metric tone of grain have been supplied to the world most rich countries. When lower income countries account for 2.5% of deliveries with 822 094 metric tone of grains received.

The meeting took place against a backdrop of Ukraine's recent counteroffensive against the Kremlin's invasion forces.

In the latest development, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov would be replaced this week. The job requires “new approaches,” Zelenskyy said, without elaborating.

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