ANKARA: The Turkish president said he and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are ‘on the same page’ in extending the Black Sea grain deal.
However, the Kremlin has not made any statements on the matter and stressed it would only extend the deal if its own conditions are met. Erdogan told reporters that he had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone.
“We will welcome Putin in August and we agree on the extension of the Black Sea grain corridor,” Erdogan said.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 disrupted grain exports from Ukraine, causing food shortages in some countries and prices to soar around the world.
According to the World Food Program, grain from Ukraine feeds some 400 million people worldwide. Turkey helped broker the Black Sea grain deal in July 2022 and it has been renewed a number of times since.
The deal has allowed Ukraine to export more than 32 million metric tons of grain, much of which has gone to developing countries in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. The current agreement is set to lapse on July 18 unless it is renewed.