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Erdogan: Russia–Ukraine grain deal will be extended for two months

Source: Meduza

President of Turkey Recep Erdogan says an agreement allowing Ukraine to export grain from occupied Black Sea ports will be extended for another two months. Turkey helped to broker the initial 2022 deal between Ukraine and Russia.

Erdogan thanked Russian president Vladimir Putin “for his sincere support for our efforts in this process” as well as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky for his “constructive cooperation.”

“We’ll continue our efforts to ensure that all conditions of the agreement are met and that it is extended next time. Apart from that, our Russian friends have said that they will not interfere with Turkish ships’ departures from the ports of Mykolaiv and Olvia. We’re grateful to them for that,” said Erdogan.

Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that the grain deal had been extended by two months. She said that “distortions” in executing the deal “should be corrected as quickly as possible.”

The Russian authorities had said that the deal would not be extended if Russia’s conditions were not met. Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry listed five “systemic problems,” which, if left unresolved, would make an extension of the grain deal impossible. Russia’s initial demands included reconnecting the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system, resuming the supply of agricultural equipment to Russia, unblocking the foreign assets of Russian food producing companies, lifting restrictions on insurance, and resuming operations of the Togliatti–Odesa ammonia pipeline.

It’s not known, at this time, whether Russia’s conditions were fulfilled.

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