Erdogan and Putin Set to Discuss Ukraine Conflict and Grain Export Initiative in Upcoming Ankara Meeting

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.06 - 2024 2:58 PM CET

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Photo: quetions123 / Shutterstock.com
Photo: quetions123 / Shutterstock.com
Erdogan and Putin Set to Discuss Ukraine Conflict and Grain Export Initiative in Upcoming Ankara Meeting.

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During an anticipated visit to Ankara, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to deliberate on the conflict in Ukraine and the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This meeting, announced by Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan without specifying a date, represents Putin's inaugural visit to a NATO member country since Russia's extensive invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

However, a Turkish official hinted to Reuters that the visit is scheduled for February 12.

The discussions aim to address the resumption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a critical agreement facilitated by Turkey and the United Nations, which guaranteed the safe passage of Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea amidst the ongoing war. Russia's exit from this agreement in July 2023 has prompted efforts by Ankara, in collaboration with both Ukraine and Russia, to reactivate the initiative.

Fidan, during a press conference in Valletta, Malta, emphasized Turkey's efforts to rekindle the grain deal and noted the country's continuous dialogue with Moscow on various subjects, including energy and regional conflicts in Syria, Libya, and the Southern Caucasus.

He reaffirmed Turkey's support for Ukraine's territorial integrity while also highlighting the necessity to mitigate the war's detrimental effects.

Turkey, a NATO member with a Black Sea maritime boundary with both Ukraine and Russia, has strived to balance its relations with the conflicting nations. It has supported Kyiv militarily and advocated for its territorial rights while simultaneously opposing sanctions against Russia.

The discussions between Erdogan and Putin are also expected to cover the establishment of a gas hub in Turkey alongside the pressing issues surrounding the war in Ukraine, as stated by the Kremlin.

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