Russia should start exporting grain as well: Erdoğan

Russia should start exporting grain as well: Erdoğan

Russia should start exporting grain as well: Erdoğan

Russia should also be able to start grain exports as Ukraine does from its ports over a deal, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 8, noting that the Russian leader was right in his complaint that Ukrainian grain is not being delivered to poor countries.

“As of now, there is no grain shipment from Russia. There is one thing that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is right about. The grain from the grain shipments go to the rich countries, not the poor ones,” Erdoğan said at a joint press conference with his Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanović.

Putin was uncomfortable with the grain shipments to the countries which impose sanctions on Russia due to the Ukrainian war, he added.

Türkiye also wants the shipment of Russian grain to start, so that these products will be delivered to the poor countries as well, Erdoğan stated.

He will talk about these issues with Putin on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand on Sept. 15-16, Erdoğan explained.

Russia and Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.N. and Türkiye on July 22 for the resumption of grain export from Ukraine, a major grain exporter, to avoid a food crisis around the world. The operation started on Aug. 1 following the deployment of Ukrainian and Russian officials to the JCC along with Turkish and U.N. authorities.

The deal signed by Russia and Ukraine will be valid for 120 days and can be renewed if the parties do not oppose its prolongation. Ukraine is planning to export around 25 million tons of grain to the world by the end of this year.

One of the important side effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the blockade of grain exports from both these countries to the world markets. There were huge concerns that the continued crisis could cause a major food crisis, mostly on the African continent that heavily depends on the grain, food and fertilizer imports from the two warring states.

Russia is also hoping to export its food and fertilizers to the world under certain guarantees provided by the U.N. However, due to the concerns over the shipment, banking and insurance companies, the Russian exports have not started yet.

On Sept. 7, Putin said that “almost all” the Ukrainian grain shipped under a U.N.-backed deal to ease a global food crisis was reaching rich European nations instead. The Ukrainian grain export was helping richer European countries at the expense of the developing world, he stated. “With this approach, the scale of food problems in the world will only grow,” the Russian leader said.

Problem is Dayton Agreement: Erdoğan

Elaborating on the political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, President Erdoğan said the essence of these problems was the Dayton Peace Agreement.

“The trouble in Bosnia and Herzegovina comes from the Dayton Agreement. I hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina will not pay the price anymore,” Erdoğan said.

He stressed that the decisions for the country should be taken with the consensus of representatives of three entities, Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian, not with the intervention of the high representative.

Christian Schmidt, the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, is criticized for attempting controversial changes to the electoral law before the parliamentary elections in October.