Erdogan again wants to talk with Zelenskyy about dialogue with Russia

12 November 2022, 11:37 PM
Erdogan plans to try again to persuade Zelensky to sit down at the negotiating table with Putin (Photo:REUTERS / Florion Goga)

Erdogan plans to try again to persuade Zelensky to sit down at the negotiating table with Putin (Photo:REUTERS / Florion Goga)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to call his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the coming days to discuss his position on negotiations with Russia, Turkish newspaper Anadolu reported on Nov. 12.

Turkey “seeks to turn the ‘grain corridor’ into the path to peace,” said the Turkish leader.

However, according to Erdogan, Putin’s position on this alone is not enough, so he intends to raise this issue in a conversation with President Zelenskyy.

“All this will allow us to understand whether Turkey’s mediation efforts will be able to bring peace closer,” said Erdogan.

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“Well, now it is important for us to preserve the effectiveness of the ‘grain corridor.’ The same also applies to the supply of fertilizers. President Putin’s goal is to give priority to poor countries in Africa, in particular, Mali, Somalia or Sudan. The Russian leader offered to supply grain to these countries free of charge. We are ready for the same sensitivity on this issue.”

He also made predictions on whether the grain deal would expire on Nov. 19.

“In my opinion, threats of temporary restrictions on agreements are the wrong way to go. During the negotiations, we stated: the longer the agreement lasts, the better. Meanwhile, it is important to define the framework of this issue. That is, as President Putin said, to make efforts to address the countries of Africa, which are most in need of food. It would be an unfair approach to ship agricultural products to Europe and ignore Africa.”

Erdogan also noted that the supply of agricultural products to European countries had a negative impact on the position of the head of the Kremlin.

Russia announced that it was suspending its participation in the grain agreement on Oct. 29. The Russians cited the explosions in occupied Sevastopol as the reason for this decision, for which the Kremlin blames Ukraine and the UK.

Concurrently, Kyiv calls Moscow’s withdrawal from the grain deal “food blackmail” and highlights the fact that Russia used a false pretext. Since the beginning of September, the Russian Federation has been artificially creating a queue of ships moving through the grain corridor.

Two days after Russia's withdrawal from the “grain initiative”, Erdogan held telephone talks with Putin on Nov. 1. Erdogan then announced that the “grain corridor” would resume operations on the afternoon of Nov. 2.

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