Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have underlined the need for full implementation of the historic Istanbul deal for grain exports.
Ankara is working with Moscow on grain shipment from Russian ports, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, after a landmark deal that unblocked the export of stuck Ukrainian grain.
“The Razoni dry cargo ship passing through Istanbul was actually a first. Behind it, there are about 20 ships waiting at the ports,” he said late on Friday, referring to the first ship to have left Ukraine earlier this week under the Türkiye-brokered agreement.
“Above all, Russia is saying right now: ‘We have the preparation, we have the strength to leave the ports. When will you mediate on this?’,” Erdogan told reporters on board the presidential plane following a one-day visit to Russia.
“Our relevant ministries, primarily our Ministry of Trade, are working quickly on this issue,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in Russia’s coastal city of Sochi to discuss bilateral relations, regional and international issues.
The leaders underlined the need for “the full implementation of the Istanbul agreement, including the unimpeded export of Russia’s grain, fertiliser and raw materials for their production”.
On July 22, Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea for exports of grain, which had been stuck for months due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, now in its sixth month.
Ankara has drawn international praise for its mediator role in the breakthrough that is expected to ease global food shortages as well as inflation.
Erdogan said Russia had 40 million tonnes of goods, adding that there were some countries who “spread rumours as if Türkiye had stopped the ships. There is no such thing”.
He added all the ships will pass through Türkiye before reaching their final destination.
The first ship to leave Ukraine under the agreement, Sierra Leone-flagged cargo vessel Razoni, departed from Odessa carrying over 26,500 tons of corn on Monday.
It got security clearance in Istanbul on Wednesday, and is on its way to the Lebanese port of Tripoli, its final destination.
Three more ships, carrying over 58,000 tonnes of grain, set sail from Ukrainian ports on Friday.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies