Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday there will be no new grain deal in the Black Sea until the West meets his demands.These comments, reported by The Associated Press, came after he met with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who hoped to restart the agreement that allowed Ukraine to export grain and other goods.Russia halted its wartime Ukrainian grain export deal in July that allowed wheat and other food products to be exported from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The agreement was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations a year earlier and was critical in supplying wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other commodities that developing nations rely on.Putin also said Russia was close to finalizing a deal that would provide free grain to six African countries, the AP reported.In opening remarks, Erdoğan said “everyone is looking at the grand corridor issue.” Putin also acknowledged this, saying “issues related to the Ukraine crisis” would also be discussed between the two leaders.“I know you intend to raise questions about the grain deal.
We’re open to negotiations on that subject,” Putin said to Erdoğan.Since Russia withdrew from the agreement, Erdoğan has vowed to help restart the grain initiative that aimed to avoid a food crisis in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.The U.S.
has also criticized Putin for leaving the deal.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken challenged countries at a UN Security Council meeting to tell Russia to stop using the Black Sea and Ukraine’s grain as “blackmail,” and to halt treating those who are hungry and vulnerable as leverage in its “unconscionable war.”The meeting comes as Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive against Moscow’s invasion.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Sunday he would replace Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, saying the position requires “new approaches.”Zelensky has also accused Moscow of targeting grain structures after Russian drones attacked a port city last month, and experts say Putin’s next step may be using food as a weapon in the war.The Associated Press contributed.
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