ANKARA, September 7. /TASS/. The Turkish government has confirmed its readiness to actively facilitate the process of reaching a ceasefire agreement in Ukraine, the Turkish Defense Ministry told journalists.
"We are closely monitoring the events unfolding between Russia and Ukraine, which seriously threaten the security of our region and the entire world. We confirm our readiness to play an active and assisting role in ensuring a ceasefire and a stable peace, as well as provide comprehensive support in alleviating the humanitarian crisis," the Hurriyet newspaper quoted the military agency as saying.
The defense ministry reiterated that Turkey maintains interactions with Russia, Ukraine and the UN on extending the Black Sea Grain Initiative. "We hope that following the meeting [between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on September 4], positive steps will be taken for continuing this initiative, which greatly contributed to the stabilization of global food prices and proved that all crises can be resolved with good will and dialogue," the ministry’s statement said.
The Black Sea grain deal ceased to function on July 17. After agreeing several times since the inception of the grain deal in July 2022 to extend the Istanbul agreements for providing safe passage for vessels carrying Ukrainian grain as well as unblocking Russian agricultural exports, Moscow refused to agree to any further extension, reiterating that the Russia-related provisions of the agreements were never actually implemented. Speaking at a press conference in Sochi on September 4 after his talks with Erdogan, Putin said that Moscow would be prepared to return to the grain deal within a matter of days once the provisions for enabling Russian agricultural exports were fulfilled.