Turkish president voices hope for Black Sea grain deal extension
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday voiced hope that the parties to the Black Sea grain deal will extend the agreement set to expire on Monday, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
"We are preparing to host (Russian President Vladimir) Putin in Türkiye in August. We are of the same mind on the extension of the Black Sea grain corridor.
"(UN Secretary General Antonio) Guterres sent a letter to Putin. I hope that with this letter, we assure the extension of the grain corridor deal with the joint efforts of us and Russia," Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.
This will help solve the problems of poor African countries, Erdogan said, adding that Putin had also agreed with this.
Previously, Putin offered to send grain to poor countries free of charge.
A year ago, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which had been paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began that February. A Joint Coordination Center was set up in Istanbul with officials from the three countries and the UN to oversee the shipments.
The first ship carrying grain under the historic deal left in August from the Ukrainian port of Odesa.
Türkiye, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war through negotiations.
Russian officials have strongly hinted that this month they could block the extension of the grain deal, complaining that parts of the deal to allow Russian exports have gone unfulfilled.