3 Nov 2022 09:24

Erdogan notes importance of grain deal resumption in phone call with Zelensky

ISTANBUL. Nov 3 (Interfax) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has discussed the Black Sea Grain Initiative with his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky by phone, the Anadolu agency said on Wednesday.

"President Erdogan told Zelensky that grain exports from Ukraine and Russia were essential for the entire world and pointed to the importance of continuing the grain deal implementation," the agency said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine has guaranteed that it would not use the humanitarian maritime corridor in the Black Sea for attacks on Russia's Black Sea Fleet, and, therefore, Russia is resuming its participation in the grain deal.

"We demanded the Ukrainian side's assurances and guarantees that no such thing [as the attack on the Black Sea Fleet] would happen in the future, and that the humanitarian corridors would not be used for military purposes," he said at a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council.

"Information from the Turkish side that Ukraine provided such assurances on the non-use of those humanitarian corridors for military purposes was received through the defense ministry," Putin said.

"In this light, I ordered the defense ministry to resume our full participation in this work," he added.

He also added that Russia reserves the right to withdraw from the grain deal, if Ukraine breaches its obligations again, and noted that Russia would not obstruct grain supply from Ukraine to Turkey in the future.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian media reports about the Zelensky-Erdogan phone call said that they also discussed further steps towards the return of Ukrainian prisoners.

"Thanked President Erdogan for actively contributing to the preservation of the grain agreement. Further steps towards the return of Ukrainian prisoners were discussed. I am counting on Turkey's support in this area as well," the Ukrainian media quoted Zelensky as saying on a social network.