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Ukraine war: Turkey backs Russian demand for grain exports


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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday (June 8th) supported Russia’s calls for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Moscow by Western countries in the aftermath of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Like Ukraine, Russia is also a major supplier of wheat. However, exports have been hit by the sanctions, impacting the global supply chain and threatening a global food crisis. The sanctions have also hampered the export of Russian grain and fertilizers.

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Russia demanded the lifting of sanctions in exchange for the unblocking of Ukrainian Black Sea ports. In response, Cavusoglu called “legitimate” demands for an end to sanctions to help grain enter the global market.

“If we are to open the international market for Ukrainian grain, we consider the removal of barriers that hinder Russian exports to be a legitimate demand,” he said.

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Speaking at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Cavusoglu further said: “Various ideas have been floated for the export of Ukrainian grain to the market and, more recently, the plan of the UN (including) a mechanism that can be created between the UN, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey. We consider this reasonable,” he added. “Of course, Ukraine and Russia have to accept it.”

Lavrov said Moscow is ready to ensure the safe passage of ships from Ukraine. “We are ready to ensure the safety of ships leaving Ukrainian ports. We are ready to do this in cooperation with our Turkish colleagues,” Lavrov said during the press conference.

Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio is warning that “millions” of people could starve to death if Russia does not unblock Ukrainian grain exports to ease global shortages.

“I want to say clearly, we are waiting for clear and concrete signals from Russia, because blocking grain exports means taking hostage and condemning to death millions of children, women and men,” he said. declared after a virtual meeting with Turkey and Lebanon among other countries, alongside the German president of the G7 and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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Post expires at 3:04pm on Saturday June 18th, 2022