Turkey’s Erdogan says to discuss Black Sea grain deal with UN’s Guterres

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey is in close contact with the United Nations on reviving the Black Sea grain initiative and he will discuss it with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at its general assembly this month, Turkish media reported.

Speaking to reporters after talks in Russia with Vladimir Putin, Erdogan was quoted as saying the latest UN proposal sought to address some Russian demands, and he repeated he believed a solution could be found soon.

Russian demands include a return of its Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT payments system and insuring the ships involved in the grain initiative, he was quoted as saying by TRT, Haberturk, and other Turkish broadcasters.

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“On August 28, UN Secretary General Guterres, in the letter he sent, proposed an intermediary mechanism that would result from the SWIFT transaction, not directly SWIFT as the Russians wanted,” Erdogan said. “They said work was underway on the insurance issue too.”

He added that Moscow was putting these two demands forth as
“musts” to revive the initiative, and that Putin had told him he would not take steps on this until “Europe keeps the promises they made me,” according to Turkish media.

NATO member Turkey is seeking to convince Russia to return to the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered by Ankara and the United Nations. Moscow withdrew in July, ending a year of protected exports from Ukrainian ports amid the war.

On Monday, Putin repeated that Russia could return to the initiative, but only if the West stopped restricting Russian agricultural exports from reaching global markets.

Erdogan will participate in the G20 summit in India on September 9-10 before attending the UN General Assembly in New York on September 18-26.

“We will have meetings with Guterres there to discuss these issues,” Erdogan was cited as saying.

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