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Turkey FM to discuss alternatives to Black Sea grain deal in Ukraine

Turkey's foreign minister will stop in Ukraine Aug. 25 to discuss options for shipping Ukrainian grain amid the deadlock with Russia.
Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan looks on during a joint press conference with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov (not pictured) after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey on July 31, 2023. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan is poised to visit Ukraine on Aug. 25 amid US-led efforts to explore an alternative route to exporting Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea as fears of armed escalation rise, according to media reports.

Fidan is due to visit Iraq on Aug. 23-24. 

The Middle East Eye was first to report that Fidan would travel to Kyiv, his first trip to the Ukrainian capital as foreign minister, to discuss the proposed arrangements. Unnamed Turkish officials talking to the London-based outlet aired worry that Ukraine’s push for alternative routes could “escalate the situation in the Black Sea and spill the war into the territories of NATO countries.”

On Aug. 13, a Russian warship fired warning shots and boarded a foreign-flagged Turkish cargo ship en route to Ukrainian ports via the Black Sea after its crew allegedly failed to heed Russian demands for inspection.

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