Fidan discusses grain deal with Lavrov, UN chief

Fidan discusses grain deal with Lavrov, UN chief

Fidan discusses grain deal with Lavrov, UN chief

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has engaged in discussions with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, addressing the developments surrounding the grain deal between Ukraine and Russia.

The talks between Turkish and Russian top diplomats on July 18 aimed to find a resolution and ensure Ukrainian grain's continued access to global markets via the Turkish straits.

Russia recently announced its decision to withdraw from the groundbreaking grain agreement until its conditions are met, raising concerns about Ukraine's export capabilities.

The grain deal, signed in July last year by Türkiye, the U.N., Russia and Ukraine, was a significant step toward resuming grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which had been disrupted by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

In a separate meeting on July 17, Fidan also conferred with Guterres to discuss the latest developments regarding the agreement.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin on July 18 accused Ukraine of using the Black Sea grain corridor for "combat purposes," leading to Russia's decision to withdraw from the agreement.

"Without appropriate security guarantees, certain risks arise here. If [a future agreement] is formalized without Russia, then these risks should be taken into account," spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The United Nations and Ukraine's Western allies strongly criticized Russia's withdrawal from the initiative, citing concerns for the well-being of many lives.

Prior to his departure for the Gulf on July 17, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed confidence that Russian leader Vladimir Putin would support the continuation of the agreement.

Erdoğan emphasized the importance of intensified diplomatic efforts and forthcoming discussions regarding the grain deal. The president expressed hope that his meeting with Putin in August or a potential earlier phone call would provide an opportunity to address the matter.

Diplomacy, UN,