New Mechanism Planned for Ukraine Black Sea Grain Exports

February 4, 2024

© valdisskudre / Adobe Stock
© valdisskudre / Adobe Stock

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will discuss a new mechanism to allow Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his upcoming visit to Turkey, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Sunday.

Putin is expected to visit Turkey on Feb. 12 to meet Erdogan, a Turkish official previously said, in what will be the Russian leader's first trip to a NATO ally since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

There are efforts to find "new methods" to transport Ukrainian grain to the world markets, Fidan said in an interview with private A Haber television.

"The previous grain deal worked within a certain mechanism, now it has been seen that there is a possibility of going with a different mechanism, and now there are efforts to concretise this possibility," Fidan said, adding that Erdogan will raise this issue in his meeting with Putin in Turkey.

Ankara has sought to persuade Russia to return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which Moscow pulled out of in July 2023, a year after it was implemented. The accord was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to provide safe passage to exports from Ukrainian ports.

Kyiv has said talks were underway to revive the deal, but Moscow said there was no prospect of reinstating it.

Fidan said some ships had managed to transport Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea, even without the accord in place.

"We want to make clear this de-facto (situation) with the new mechanism," he said.

(Reuters - Reporting by Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Sharon Singleton)

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