Turkey, Russia and UN chief hold talks on terminating grain deal

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan spoke by phone July 18 with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and UN Secretary-General António Guterres about Russia’s exit from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, according to Turkish diplomatic sources cited by Anadolu Agency.

The deal, which ended Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports, fell apart after Russia pulled out of the deal on July 17. The Ukrainian government called Russia’s decision “blackmail”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed the deal fell through because Russia’s demands were not implemented. “Therefore, its agreement has been terminated. As soon as the Russian side is completed, the Russian side will immediately return to the implementation of this agreement.”

Putin said Moscow’s demands focused on logistics, insurance and the movement of money when paying for Russian goods.

António Guterres condemned the decision and said millions around the world at risk of hunger “will pay the price”. To meet Moscow’s demands, he proposed that a subsidiary of the sanctioned Russian agricultural bank be reconnected to SWIFT. The UN has also offered to help Russia with its food and fertilizer exports.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he believes Russia wants to continue with the grain deal, despite its withdrawal.

Ukraine’s latest war: Grains deal collapses after Russia pulls out of deal

Key developments from July 17: * Grains deal collapses after Russia pulls out of deal * Crimea bridge damaged after reported explosions * Military: Russian forces on offensive in Lyman direction -Kupiansk * Foreign Ministry celebrates 9th anniversary of Russian downing of MH17 * More Wagner…

Kyiv IndependentKate Tsurkan

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