Ankara and Moscow have called for the lifting of the barriers to Russian fertiliser and grain exports, stressing the need to avert a possible food crisis worldwide.
“The grain corridor is proof that dialogue and negotiation are working. We attach importance to the continuation of the agreement. This is also important in terms of reducing the world food crisis,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu declared on Friday at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
“We agree that the barriers to Russian grain and exports should also be removed. We support efforts to remove these barriers,” he added.
Cavusoglu said it is important to ensure the shipment of Russian ammonia and fertilisers, as well.
He added that more than 27 million tonnes of grain have been carried by 866 ships via the Black Sea grain corridor deal, which Türkiye helped broker last year in a bid to avert a potential food crisis amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which had been paused in February 2022 due to the conflict.
“The war, which has been going on for more than a year, continues to harm the whole world. We once again emphasised our expectation that the war will end on the basis of international law and through negotiations. We are trying to solve the problem by negotiating with both parties,” Cavusoglu stressed.
For his part, Lavrov called for the lifting of obstacles to Russian exports.
“If there is no further progress in removing barriers to the export of Russian fertilisers and grain, we will think about whether this deal is necessary,” Lavrov said.
Türkiye has been praised worldwide for its role as mediator between Ukraine and Russia. It has repeatedly urged Kiev and Moscow to end the war, which has stretched to over a year, through negotiations.
Quadrilateral meeting on Syria
Cavusoglu said he had also discussed with Lavrov an upcoming quadrilateral foreign ministers’ meeting including Iran and Syria.
On the recent prelude meeting in Moscow of the countries’ deputy foreign ministers, Cavusoglu said each country had openly expressed its stance and views.
“We want this process to continue in a transparent manner. The dialogue needs to continue, and it would be beneficial to continue consultations (in an) intensified (way),” he added.
Last December, defence ministers and intelligence chiefs of Türkiye, Russia, and the Syrian regime met in Moscow and agreed to continue tripartite meetings to ensure stability in Syria and the wider region.
Iran was also included in the talks, with Türkiye previously saying that Ankara would be “pleased if Iran is involved in this process.”
Although no date or location has yet been announced, the foreign ministers’ meeting would continue restarting high-level talks between Türkiye and its neighbour Syria since that country’s civil war began in 2011.