‘Grain deal’ meeting announced in Turkiye this week
Deputy defence ministers of Turkiye, Ukraine, and Russia are to meet in Istanbul on Friday to discuss the prolongation of the Black Sea grain initiative, the Turkish defence chief said.
In a statement, Hulusi Akar recalled his recent meetings with the Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, in Moscow and with Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Oleksandr Kubrakov in Turkiye.
"During both meetings, the topic of the grain corridor was discussed", Anadolu news agency quoted Mr Akar as saying.
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According to Turkiye’s defence minister, the parties supported his proposal to hold a meeting on this issue in Istanbul on Friday, where "a number of other issues are planned to be discussed."
"We hope that the ‘grain deal’ will be extended without delay, as this initiative is important not only for peace and stability in the region, but also for the supply of food to countries in need," Hulusi Akar added.
The grain deal, struck in July 2022, provided for limited exports of Ukrainian grain through three Black Sea ports, which had been blocked since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has claimed that the current grain deal does not guarantee its agricultural exports, allegedly blocked by Western sanctions in response to its aggression against Ukraine, and is threatening to quit the deal on 18 May, when it is set to expire.