Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Moscow was prepared to export significant volumes of fertilizers and food if the West’s sanctions against Moscow are lifted, the Kremlin said on Monday.
“In light of the problems in the global food market that have arisen as a result of the short-sighted financial and economic policies of Western states, it has been confirmed that Russia can export significant volumes of fertilizers and agricultural products if the relevant anti-Russian sanctions restrictions are lifted,” state news agency TASS reported.
Putin also said that Russia would be willing to facilitate unrestricted sea transit of cargoes, including grains from Ukrainian ports.
“When discussing the situation in Ukraine, the emphasis was placed on the issues of ensuring safe navigation in the Black and Azov seas, eliminating the mine threat in their waters. Putin noted the readiness of the Russian side to facilitate the unhindered maritime transit of goods in coordination with Turkish partners. This also applies to the export of grain from Ukrainian ports,” TASS added.
Russia was slapped with crippling sanctions by US and its European allies after Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The sanctions have disrupted supplies of fertilizer, grains and other commodities from both Russia and Ukraine, which together produce 30 percent of global wheat supply.
The disruption in supply has caused what international officials have described as a food crisis.
The Turkish presidency said that Erdogan told Putin Ankara was prepared to play a role in an “observation mechanism” between Moscow, Kyiv and the UN in Istanbul, if a deal was reached to achieve peace.
Erdogan also told his Russian counterpart that peace needs to be established as soon as possible and confidence-building actions need to be made to end the Ukraine war.