Putin and Erdogan fail to agree on renewal of grain deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin failed to reach an agreement on the resumption of the grain deal. This became clear from their statements during a press conference following the talks in Sochi.

Putin said that the Russian Federation is ready to resuscitate the deal within a few days only if its demands are met. It is about lifting restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products.

Putin also promised that Russia will organize the delivery of one million tons of grain to Turkey for processing and then gratuitous transportation to the poorest countries in Africa. According to Putin, Qatar may also join this initiative.

Putin added that the initiative was not an alternative to the grain deal. “There is also Ukraine, which has its own interests, we all understand this perfectly well, we are aware of it. So it is not a substitute, but it is certainly a huge contribution from our side, it would be a huge contribution from our side to solving the food problems of African countries. These are absolutely obvious things”, Putin said.

Putin’s decision has already been criticized by German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock.

“Vladimir Putin is playing a cynical game using the grain deal”, Berbock said after meeting with Romanian Foreign Minister Luminica Odobescu in Berlin.

At the same time, she described Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s efforts to revive the grain deal as important.

“It is only because of Putin that cargo ships once again do not have free passage through the Black Sea. By doing so, Russia is exacerbating global hunger”, Berbock emphasized.

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