ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said after meeting Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Monday that he believes a solution can be found soon to reviving the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain-export deal, including filling remaining gaps.
“We believe that the initiative should be continued by eliminating its shortcomings. In this context, we prepared a package containing new suggestions in consultation with the United Nations,” he said alongside Putin after a meeting in Sochi.
“I think it’s possible to make progress. As Turkey, we believe that we will reach a solution that will meet the expectations in a short time,” Erdogan said.
NATO member Turkey is seeking to convince Russia to return to the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative after Moscow withdrew in July, ending a year of protected exports from Ukrainian ports amid the war.
Erdogan, who has sought to balance good ties with both Moscow and Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine early last year, said alternatives that have been floated to the original grain deal “could not provide a lasting solution.”
(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Jon Boyle)