Turkey’s Erdogan says to discuss grain deal with UN’s Guterres in September

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President Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey is in close contact with the United Nations on reviving the Black Sea grain initiative, according to Turkish media reports.

Erdogan added that he will discuss it with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at its general assembly this month.

Speaking to reporters after talks in Russia with Vladimir Putin, Erdogan was quoted as saying the latest UN proposal sought to address some Russian demands, and he repeated he believed a solution could be found soon.

Russian demands include a return of its Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT payments system and insuring the ships involved in the grain initiative, he was quoted as saying by TRT, Haberturk, and other Turkish broadcasters.

“On Aug. 28, UN Secretary General Guterres, in the letter he sent, proposed an intermediary mechanism that would result from the SWIFT transaction, not directly SWIFT as the Russians wanted,” Erdogan said.

“They said work was underway on the insurance issue too,” he added.

He maintained that Moscow was putting these two demands forth as “musts” to revive the initiative, and that Putin had told him he would not take steps on this until “Europe keeps the promises they made me”, according to Turkish media.

NATO member Turkey is seeking to convince Russia to return to the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered by Ankara and the United Nations.

Moscow withdrew in July, ending a year of protected exports from Ukrainian ports amid the war.

On Monday, Putin repeated that Russia could return to the initiative, but only if the West stopped restricting Russian agricultural exports from reaching global markets.

Erdogan will participate in the G20 summit in India on Sept. 9-10 before attending the U N General Assembly in New York on Sept. 18-26.

“We will have meetings with Guterres there to discuss these issues,” Erdogan was cited as saying.

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