27 Mar 2023 09:23

Putin, Erdogan discuss grain deal, Turkish president commends Russia's consent to extend it by 60 days - Kremlin

MOSCOW. March 27 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed the implementation of the grain deal and cooperation in the energy sector in a telephone call, the Russian presidential press service said on Saturday.

"The Turkish leader commended Russia's consent to the extension of the Istanbul agreement dealing with transportation of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports and the unlocking of export of Russian food products and fertilizers by 60 days. At that, he expressed understanding of the Russian side's principled commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the second part of the aforementioned package of agreements, eliminating the barriers for Russian agricultural products," the press service said.

Putin and Erdogan discussed "relevant issues of Russian-Turkish partnership in various sectors," it said. The parties "expressed satisfaction with the positive dynamics of commercial and economic ties and the successful implementation of strategic projects in the energy sector, including supplies of gas and the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey," the Russian presidential press service said.

The Turkish president once again expressed gratitude for the assistance provided in the recovery of the consequences of the earthquake, including the recent deployment of a Russian field hospital in the Hatay province. The parties also agreed "to study the possibility of importing construction materials from Russia to restore the damaged infrastructure and houses."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on March 16 that the grain deal was extended by 60 days.

"Yes, we've extended the deal by 60. Extended the deal by 60 days," Zakharova said at a press briefing, when asked by a journalist to comment on Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric's remark that the text of the deal envisions its extension by 120 days.

As reported earlier, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Nations signed two documents in Istanbul on July 22, 2022 to set up a sea corridor for exporting grain from the Ukrainian seaports of Odessa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny and to lift barriers from exports of Russian food and fertilizers. The deal was extended for 120 days in November 2022. It thus expired on March 18.