Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to persuade Russia’s Vladimir Putin to return to a critical Black Sea grain deal Monday after meeting with the Russian leader in the Black Sea port of Sochi, with both leaders confirming they were working on a separate scheme to send grain to the neediest African countries with financial support from Qatar.
The outcome dealt a blow to US-led efforts to prioritize Ukrainian grain sales securely via the Black Sea, potentially leaving Ukraine without the means to store unsold supplies.
Speaking at a news conference after the talks, Putin said he was ready to revive the previous deal but only if Russia’s terms were met. Russia argues that the deal it brokered with the United Nations in parallel to another that was brokered between Turkey, the UN and Ukraine in July 2022 was not fairly implemented. Russia said that its own agricultural exports were impeded and is particularly incensed that it was unable to export ammonia that is used to produce fertilizers.
Russia also says that continued restrictions on Russia’s access to the SWIFT financial transaction system and the insurance of its ships had also hindered shipments.