Erdogan and Putin to address Ukraine conflict and grain deal during Ankara visit

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to tackle discussions on the war in Ukraine and the Black Sea Grain Initiative when Putin visits Ankara, announced Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Tuesday.

Publication: 06.02.2024 - 15:48
Erdogan and Putin to address Ukraine conflict and grain deal during Ankara visit
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Fidan did not specify the date of Putin's visit, which will be his first to a NATO country since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. According to a Turkish official who spoke to Reuters, Putin is scheduled to visit Turkey on February 12.

Turkey has been actively encouraging Russia to rejoin the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a Turkey and United Nations-brokered deal facilitating the safe export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea during the conflict. Russia exited the agreement in July 2023, expressing disinterest in its renewal. At a press conference in Valletta, Malta, Fidan mentioned Turkey's efforts with Ukraine and Russia to restart the agreement.

Fidan highlighted the importance of Turkey's "ongoing, regular" dialogue with Moscow on various subjects, including energy and regional conflicts in Syria, Libya, and the Southern Caucasus. "We have always supported Ukraine's territorial integrity and will continue to do so, but it's also crucial to mitigate the war's destructive effects," he remarked, referencing the grain deal.

As a NATO member with a Black Sea border shared with both Ukraine and Russia, Turkey strives to maintain favorable relations with the warring nations. It has provided military aid to Kyiv, backed its sovereignty, and yet, has opposed sanctions against Russia.

The Kremlin anticipates discussions between Erdogan and Putin on establishing a gas hub in Turkey and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine during the upcoming visit.

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