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Türkiye, Russia to discuss ‘new mechanism’ for Ukraine grain exports

Türkiye and Russia will weigh in on a new mechanism to allow Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea when their two leaders meet in the coming days, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said Sunday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Türkiye on Feb. 12 to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a Turkish official previously said, in what will be the Russian leader’s first trip to a NATO ally since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

There are efforts to find “new methods” to transport Ukrainian grain to the world markets, Fidan said in an interview with private A Haber television.

“The previous grain deal worked within a certain mechanism, now it has been seen that there is a possibility of going with a different mechanism, and now there are efforts to concretize this possibility,” Fidan said, adding that Erdoğan will raise this issue in his meeting with Putin in Türkiye.

Ankara has sought to persuade Russia to return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which Moscow pulled out of in July 2023, a year after it was implemented. The accord was brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye to provide safe passage to exports from Ukrainian ports.

Russia says it quit the deal because the arrangement was not delivering grain to the poorest countries, and because it still faces barriers to its own exports of grain and fertilizer.

Kyiv has said talks were underway to revive the deal, but Moscow said there was no prospect of reinstating it.

Fidan said some ships had managed to transport Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea, even without the accord in place.

“We want to make clear this de-facto (situation) with the new mechanism,” he said.

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