Negotiations with Erdogan Failed - Putin Continues Grain Blackmail
Following the meeting of the leaders of Turkey and Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to extend the agreement that allowed partial export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, which had been blocked by Russia after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
This was reported by AP.
The President of Russia rejected the agreement, emphasizing Moscow's demands regarding the export of agricultural products, including the removal of sanctions on Russian grain, mineral fertilizers, and the inclusion of banks in the SWIFT system.
Meanwhile, the international community and Ukraine consider such conditions unacceptable and reject Kremlin's blackmail.
The "grain deal" is of utmost importance, as Ukraine is one of the largest suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil, and other agricultural products to Africa and countries in the Middle East and Asia, which rely on Ukrainian supplies.
Recall that on the eve, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived for a meeting with Putin in the Russian city of Sochi. According to Erdogan, he planned to discuss in detail the possibility of Russia returning to the grain corridor.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the Kremlin was open to "negotiations on this issue." However, the dialogue with Russia turned out to be fruitless.
Recall that in February 2022, ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet blocked Ukrainian ports, preventing the export of agricultural products from Ukraine - one of the leading countries in the global market. After a series of efforts, international partners succeeded in partially unblocking Ukrainian ports.
However, on July 17, 2023, the Russian Federation announced its withdrawal from the grain agreement, citing "non-compliance with the part of the agreement related to Russia." The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it would open fire on civilian commercial vessels carrying Ukrainian grain, considering them military targets.
As noted by the UK Minister of Foreign Affairs, James Cleverly, such actions by the Kremlin will lead to the withdrawal of at least 23 million tons of Ukrainian food from the global markets.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that immediately after leaving the agreement, Russia began targeted missile strikes on Ukrainian port cities, including Odesa and Mykolaiv. This led to the destruction of infrastructure and the loss of tens of thousands of tons of grain in August alone.
After the closure of the Black Sea, Ukraine began to explore new opportunities for the export of its products. Thus, on July 25, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, announced the possibility of exporting grain through five ports in the Baltic countries, namely Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
Later, during bilateral negotiations between the Foreign Ministers of Croatia and Ukraine, the parties agreed on the export of Ukrainian agricultural products through Croatian ports on the Danube and the Adriatic Sea.
However, Russia is shelling Ukrainian ports, including those on the Danube.