ANKARA, July 5. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said he would reinvigorate talks with Russia and Ukraine to establish a corridor for the export of grain from Ukrainian ports.
"The corridor in the Black Sea is a very important issue, in which the approaches of [Presidents of Russia and Ukraine Vladimir] Putin and [Vladimir] Zelensky are very important. We continue our negotiations and we want this process to continue under the auspices of the UN as a mediator. We will intensify our negotiations and try to achieve a result within 7-10 days," the Turkish president said at a news conference in Ankara following talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Erdogan also said he believes "there is a serious shortage of grain in the world, which is especially acute in Africa."
The issue of creating a grain corridor was discussed by Russian and Turkish Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu at talks in Ankara on June 8. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously said that Moscow would guarantee an unfettered passage of ships carrying Ukrainian grain if Kiev cleared its ports of mines. He also said Russia could help with the export of goods through Russian-controlled ports such as Berdyansk and Mariupol.
On June 21, negotiations were held in Moscow between the military delegations of Turkey and Russia to discuss creating a safe corridor for the export of Ukrainian grain. The Turkish Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry called them positive and constructive, noting that it was decided to continue the consultations.
Erdogan said after a NATO summit in Madrid that Ankara was ready to re-export agricultural products, which would be transported across the Black Sea. According to him, there are about 20 Turkish merchant ships in Ukrainian ports, which are ready to transport cargoes.