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Russia. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin meet in Sochi without an agreement

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During the meeting between the presidents of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Russia, Vladimir Putin, in Sochi, no agreement was reached that would allow Ukraine to safely export its agricultural products through the Black Sea. Erdogan expressed hope that a solution to the problem would be found soon.

– We believe that the initiative should be continued and its shortcomings eliminated. In this context, in consultation with UN We have prepared a package containing new suggestions, he said Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in Sochi. – I think progress is possible. We believe that we will be able to reach a solution that will meet expectations in a short time, added the Turkish leader.

Erdogan also stated that Ukraine should soften its negotiating position towards Russia in talks on the resumption of the grain agreement. – Ukraine must especially soften its approach so that it can take joint steps with Russia – he said.

SEE ALSO: Attack on Ukraine. Live coverage in tvn24.pl

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Putin said that reviving the grain initiative will be possible if all arrangements regarding Russian exports are fulfilled. According to the Russian president, the West continues to restrict Russian exports of agricultural products and ammonia. Moscow also demands the lifting of sanctions and other restrictions.

– We will be ready to consider the possibility of resuming the grain agreement, and today I said again that we will do so as soon as all agreements on lifting restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products are fully implemented, Putin said.

READ: “New York Times”: The Black Sea is the flashpoint of the war in Ukraine

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. Meeting in Sochi PAP/EPA

Russia makes proposals

Putin announced that an alternative to the grain agreement, which would enable the export of Ukrainian products through the Black Sea, is the Russian proposal to supply one million tons of grain to African countries via Turkey, with financial support from Qatar. As part of this solution, Moscow intends to sign agreements with six African countries that are to receive “free grain” from Russia.

“The ultimatum says one thing: the Kremlin wants to deprive Ukraine at all costs of the possibility of selling agricultural products abroad, which accounted for 40 percent of exports before the war. And at the same time solve the issue of selling its own grain,” the BBC’s Russian section commented on the Kremlin’s position.

In response to Putin’s declaration, Erdogan stated that he was against “alternative proposals” to the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. Meeting in Sochi PAP/EPA

READ: Russia wants to exclude Ukraine from the world grain market

– The alternative proposals on the agenda cannot provide a sustainable and safe model based on cooperation between the parties, such as the Black Sea Initiative, said the Turkish president.

Reaction in Kiev

After the meeting between Putin and Erdogan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba announced that he “now expects a conversation between the Turkish leader and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.”

– I am convinced that the result of the conversation between Erdogan and Putin will be contact between President Erdogan and President Zelensky – said Kułeba. – There is trust in the relationship between President Zelensky and President Erdogan – he added.

The grain agreement concluded by Ukraine and Russia with Turkey and the UN was in force from July 2022 to July 2023, when the authorities in Moscow withdrew from this initiative. In the following weeks, the Russian military intensified its shelling of coastal towns in Ukraine, destroying civilian targets, port infrastructure and cultural monuments.

The effects of the Russian attack on the Ukrainian port of Izmail on the DanubeOperational Command “South”

Putin on the Ukrainian counteroffensive

The Russian daily Kommersant reported that during the meeting with Erdogan, Putin also talked about the situation on the Ukrainian front.

Putin declared the Ukrainian counteroffensive a “failure.” – At least that’s how it looks today. We’ll see what happens next, he said. He also assured that “Russia has never refused to negotiate with Ukraine and is not refusing them now.” Putin also said that in his conversation with him, Erdogan raised the issue of peace negotiations with Kiev.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA

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