Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov met on Thursday to discuss the revival of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Following the meeting, Lavrov said he discussed the situation in Ukraine with Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan and explained the ‘impossibility’ of promoting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s peace formula.
When speaking about the grain deal, Fidan stated, “The UN prepared a new proposal package. We think that this constitutes a suitable basis for revitalizing the initiative with the contributions of our country.”
They would talk on regional and global issues, especially the restoration of the July 2022 deal and the end of the Ukraine war, Fidan said ahead of their meeting in Moscow.
He thanked his counterpart Lavrov for the warm hospitality, adding that their bilateral consultations are also preparatory to the forthcoming meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
Türkiye is continuing its efforts to revive the Black Sea grain deal and has argued that there is no alternative to the initiative.
On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea grain deal, brokered by Türkiye and the UN, to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports that were paused after the Ukraine war started in February 2022.
Moscow has repeatedly complained that the West has not met its obligations regarding Russia’s own grain exports. It says restrictions on payments, logistics, and insurance have been a barrier to its shipments.
Lavrov, for his part, wished Fidan success in his new role as foreign minister, noting that today’s meeting was well-timed.
“Today, we can look in detail at the issues that will be raised during the meeting of the two leaders,” he said, referring to Erdoğan and Putin’s upcoming interaction.