Ankara urges for full implementation of grain deal
All the parties should fully implement the grain deal, which has been prolonged for another 120 days, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said, recalling that Russia’s demands should also be fully addressed.
“Everyone should comply with the agreement. I hope it will be prolonged once again four months later. These are, in fact, confidence-building measures. Of course, we hope that ceasefire will be declared and there will be no need for the prolongation of the deal,” Çavuşoğlu said at a joint press conference with visiting Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard late on Nov. 17.
The grain deal that paves the way for Ukraine and Russia to export their food products, fertilizers and other products to the world markets through the Black Sea has been extended for another four months. Although Russia is part of the grain deal, it could not export its fertilizers and grain due to secondary sanctions imposed on the shipment and insurance companies as well as banks.
Çavuşoğlu informed about back door diplomacy for allowing the export of Russian ammonia from Ukraine’s Odesa Port and some European countries. “Important steps have been taken on these issues. Russia is also satisfied, but it is hard to say that all the obstacles have been removed,” he said.
Türkiye’s demand for the resumption of export from Russia does not mean that it defends Russia, Çavuşoğlu said. “No, we don’t defend Russia. But at the end of the day, there is an agreement. What we say is that in order to export Ukraine’s grain to the needy countries without problem, Russian demands should also be addressed.”
Russia and the United Nations have been working on how to secure the former to start exporting its products. Moscow said it received assurances from the U.N.
Çavuşoğlu stressed that Ankara has long been working for the prolongation of the deal by removing the obstacles before the Russian export. Food products and fertilizers are not under the sanctions, but because of the difficulties in the shipment and payment processes, Russia could not export, the minister said.
War must end
Çavuşoğlu also shared his condolences with Poland after two Polish people were killed as a missile mistakenly hit the country’s eastern border. “Preliminary studies show that it is an accident. But it is a consequence of continued war. Ending the war as soon as possible is of vital importance,” Çavuşoğlu said.
Minister slams EU, US over Turkish Cyprus
On a question, Çavuşoğlu lashed out at the European Union and the United States for rejecting the admission of Turkish Cyprus to the Organization of Turkic States as an observer member.
“We are not going to get consent from anybody to let the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus join an international organization as an observer. Our reply to the EU is this: First, be honest. You have to implement the decisions you took in 2004 for the removal of the restrictions imposed on Turkish Cypriots after Greek Cyprus rejected the Annan Plan,” Çavuşoğlu said.
The EU has no right to intervene in the Organization of Turkic States, he added. “Our message to the United States: You have broken the balance on both Turkish-Greek ties and on Cyprus. Be balanced and look into the violations committed by Greece and Greek administration if you want to care about international law,” he stated.