| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Turkey’s Erdogan to host Putin, hopes for Black Sea grain deal extension

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he was pressing Russia to extend a Black Sea grain deal by at least three months and announced a visit by President Vladimir Putin in August.

He was speaking at a joint news conference with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy after the two parties met to discuss the fate of an arrangement, brokered last year by Turkey and the United Nations, to allow for the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports via the Black Sea despite the war.

Zelenskiy’s visit followed stops in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, part of a tour of various NATO capitals aimed at encouraging them to take concrete steps at a summit next week towards granting Kyiv membership of the alliance, which Erdogan said Ukraine deserved.

Erdogan said work was underway on extending the Black Sea grain deal beyond its expiration date of July 17 and for longer periods beyond that. The deal would be one of the most important issues on the agenda for his meeting with Putin in Turkey next month, he said.

“Our hope is that it will be extended at least once every three months, not every two months. We will make an effort in this regard and try to increase the duration of it to two years,” he said at the news conference with Zelenskiy.

  • Reuters