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Erdoğan says he made agreement with Putin on free grain supplies to least developed countries

Recep Erdoğan, Turkey’s President, has said that he agreed with Vladimir Putin to set up grain supplies to least developed countries free of charge, as per Haber Turk.

“We are striving for grain to reach countries such as Somalia and Djibouti more quickly. We will ensure that grain ships reach all countries in need, especially Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan, which struggled with a serious food crisis and famine in July,” he stated.

Russia and Turkey would look to the grain reaching the African countries in the first place, Turkey’s leader says. Erdoğan also announced his intention to raise the Africa food supply issue at the upcoming G20 summit.

Sergey Shoigu and Hulusi Akar, the Defence Ministers of Russia and Turkey, discussed the “grain deal” situation on 1 November. On 31 October, Erdoğan spoke with Putin over the phone and stated that “an atmosphere of cooperation” must be created in order to solve the grain deal problem.

Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN signed an agreement regarding the exports of Ukraine’s grain via the Black Sea on 22 July. The sides agreed to create a safe naval corridor for commercial vessels to sail across from Ukrainian ports Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhne. On 29 October, Russia withdrew from the “grain deal”, blaming the “massive strike” via drones on ships and infrastructure of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

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Erdoğan and the Russian Defence Ministry announced that the grain corridor would resume operation on 2 November. The Russian ministry also said that Russia would reverse its decision to quit the deal. The agency added that Ukraine had provided written guarantees that it would not use the grain corridor to carry out attacks against Russia.

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