Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan landed in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday for discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed at renewing Ukraine’s grain export pact, according to Turkish official media.
According to the Anadolu official news agency, Erdogan was joined by a huge group that included Turkiye’s military, foreign, energy, and finance ministries.
When the two leaders meet in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday, Erdogan will try to persuade Putin to renew a grain export arrangement with Ukraine that helped alleviate a worldwide food crisis.
“We play a leading role here,” Erdogan’s chief foreign policy and security advisor Akif Cagatay Kilic said in an interview on A Haber television channel.
“The current status (of the grain deal) will be discussed at the summit on Monday. We are cautious, but we hope to achieve success,” Kilic said.
The deal was aimed at getting grain from Ukraine to world markets through the Black Sea and easing a global food crisis that the United Nations said had been worsened by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.
Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s key agricultural producers, and major players in the wheat, barley, maize, rapeseed, rapeseed oil, sunflower seed and sunflower oil markets.
Putin has repeatedly said the West was to blame for Russia leaving the deal because it had failed to implement a separate memorandum agreed with the United Nations.
But Putin has also said Russia could return to the grain deal if the West fulfils its side of the deal.