Erdogan will go "soon" to Russia to meet Putin

Erdogan will go "soon" to Russia to meet Putin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go "soon" to Russia to discuss with his counterpart Vladimir Putin the revival of the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain, according to what Erdogan's party spokesman Omar Celik said Monday.

"Our president took the initiative (to hold talks to revive the deal) to avoid the world facing a food crisis," Celik said.

 He (Erdogan) will visit Sochi soon. We believe that new developments can take place after this visit."

The Turkish or Russian authorities have not yet announced any specific date for this visit.

However, the "Bloomberg" news agency indicated that the meeting of the two presidents may take place on the eighth of September.

For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the two sides are preparing for the meeting "extensively", without mentioning a possible date or place for it.

Erdogan relied on the good relationship he has with Putin to try to play a mediating role between Russia and Ukraine since the first began its invasion of its neighbor's lands in early 2022.

Erdogan announced in July that Putin would visit Turkey this August, but the Kremlin did not confirm this.

The last meeting between the two presidents dates back to last October, and it was hosted by the Kazakh capital, Astana. The two leaders also held a videoconference in April during which a nuclear power plant was inaugurated in Turkey, which was established with Russian funding, ahead of the country's presidential elections.

Turkey and the United Nations mediated between Russia and Ukraine to conclude an agreement in the summer of 2022, which allowed the export of Ukrainian grain through safe passages in the Black Sea, in an effort to avoid additional increases in food prices globally and to avoid supply shortages in Africa and other regions of the world as a result of the conflict.

However, Moscow withdrew from the aforementioned agreement at the end of July. Since then, Russia has vowed to attack any ship sailing from Ukraine in the Black Sea.

Turkey is seeking to revive the agreement, hoping to use it as a lever to resume peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine currently relies mainly on land corridors for the export of grain, which greatly limits the quantities that can be sent. Two ships departed from the Odessa region in the south of the country and sailed close to the coasts of Romania and Bulgaria, which are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, before arriving in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

However, Ankara warned of the danger of these attempts in light of the Russian threats.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said during his visit to Kiev that he saw "no alternative" to reviving the grain deal.

"We know that alternative ways (to transport grain shipments) are being considered, but we do not see an alternative from the first initiative because (these ways) involve risks," he added.

Fidan is scheduled to go to Moscow in the coming days to discuss the Kremlin's demands in this regard and to prepare for a meeting between Erdogan and Putin.