Thursday, 28 September, 2023

Erdogan confident of extension to Ukraine grain deal

Erdogan confident of extension to Ukraine grain deal

Popular News

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed confidence Friday on the prospects of an extension to the deal that allows Ukraine to export its grain and ease a global food crisis.

"We are preparing to welcome Putin in August and we agree on the extension of the Black Sea grain corridor," Erdogan told reporters.

Questioned by Russian press agencies Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov neither confirmed nor denied Erdogan's statement. "There is no statement about this from the Russian side," he said.

The Black Sea grain deal was first signed in July 2022, five months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and has already been renewed two times.

This time however, Putin has repeatedly threatened not to renew it because of obstacles to Russia's own exports.

Earlier Friday, speaking in Jakarta, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Russia to extend the deal, warning that the most vulnerable countries would suffer without it.

Much of the grain has gone to feed people in developing countries in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. If the exports were again blocked, food prices could spiral even higher than they are now.