| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Erdogan to visit Russia ‘soon’ to discuss grain deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Russia soon to discuss the collapsed United Nations deal that had allowed Black Sea exports of Ukrainian grain, a spokesperson for Türkiye’s ruling AK Party said on Monday.

The UN- and Türkiye-brokered deal lasted a year but ended last month after Moscow quit. Ankara is seeking to persuade Russia to return to the agreement, under which Odesa’s seaports shipped tens of millions of tons of grain.

Since the grain-export deal collapsed, Russian forces have targeted Ukrainian ports with volleys of missiles and kamikaze drones.

Omer Celik, the AK Party spokesperson, said Erdogan would visit Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi “soon” but did not specify whether he would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“After this visit there may be developments and new stages may be reached regarding” the grain deal, he told reporters.

The Kremlin said on Friday there was an understanding the two leaders will meet in person soon.

Bloomberg cited two anonymous sources in reporting that Erdogan is expected to meet Putin in Russia next week, possibly on Sept. 8, before he travels to a G20 meeting in India.

Earlier, the TASS news agency cited Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan will hold talks in Moscow “in the nearest future”.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat