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Turkey’s efforts on grain deal may be fruitless unless Russia’s requirements satisfied

According to the diplomatic source in Turkey, Ankara also seeks options for the deal to be resumed through talks with the UN and the West

ISTANBUL, August 28. /TASS/. Turkey’s efforts on resumption of the Black Sea Initiative may be fruitless unless Russia is confident that its part of the package deal within the Istanbul agreements is fulfilled, a diplomatic source in Turkey told TASS.

"Russia’s return to the grain agreement is still possible. Turkey is undertaking efforts for the deal to be resumed through talks with the UN and the West. However, the West should satisfy the requirements of the Russian side, in particular, on return of Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT system, on access to funds, insurance and restoration of transport logistics. If this is not the case or Russia has no confidence that its requirements will be fulfilled, it may not return to the deal," the source said when speaking about the upcoming talks in Moscow with the participation of Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and the planned meeting between president of the two countries, Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin.

Turkey’s Milliyet newspaper reported last week, citing sources, that Fidan would visit Moscow in September. His trip will precede talks between President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which, according to diplomatic sources, may take place in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on September 4.

The Black Sea Initiative grain deal was a set of agreements reached in Istanbul in July 2022 for ensuring a safe corridor for ships carrying Ukrainian grain as well as Russian agricultural exports. After several extensions, it was terminated on July 17 at Russia’s initiative when Moscow notified Turkey, Ukraine and the UN of its objections to further extending the deal after July 18. Putin pointed out earlier that the Russia-related provisions of the deal were never implemented, despite the United Nations’ efforts, and the bulk of Ukrainian grain exports had gone to wealthy Western countries, contrary to the original intent of the deal to provide grain to needy countries, particularly in Africa. Still, Moscow stated that it was ready to promptly resume the grain deal once its Russia-related provisions were implemented.