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Türkiye’s Erdogan discusses Ukrainian crisis with Putin

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Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone talk with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday and discussed the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Erdogan stressed that the continuation of consultations with the United Nations to remove obstacles to the export of Russian grain and fertilizer would be beneficial, said a statement published by Erdogan’s office.

The Turkish president said the whole world attaches importance to the continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows the export of Ukrainian grain to world markets, underlining that the agreement they established through joint efforts plays a vital role in tackling the global food crisis.

Erdogan emphasized that Türkiye is determined to continue to make necessary efforts to establish a just peace between Russia and Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan also spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, offering aid to investigate the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam in southern Ukraine.

In July 2022, Russia and Ukraine separately signed a document in Istanbul with Türkiye and the United Nations on grain and fertilizer exports from Ukraine and Russia to ensure supplies to global markets amid the Ukraine crisis.

The memorandum of understanding between Russia and the United Nations on the facilitation of exports of Russian food and fertilizer is a parallel agreement with the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

While the exports of Ukrainian grain have made strides, Russia has constantly expressed displeasure with the lack of progress in the facilitation of exports of Russian food and fertilizer.

The initiative, initially in effect for 120 days, was extended in mid-November 2022 for another 120 days till March 18, 2023. At that point, Russia only agreed to extend the deal for 60 days, till May 18, 2023. On May 17, Russia agreed to extend the deal for another 60 days.

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