Turkey is actively working to restore the Black Sea grain deal in its original form and has no intention of supporting alternative proposals for the export of agricultural produce, according to government sources reported by the Sabah newspaper. Ankara is engaged in diplomatic talks with representatives from the United Nations, Russia, and Ukraine with the aim of reinstating the humanitarian corridor that facilitated the export of Ukrainian grain until the deal expired last month.
Turkey also supports the work of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) on the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The JCC, established in Istanbul in July 2022, included representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations. However, Moscow decided not to extend the agreement after July 17, citing the failure of the US and EU to fulfill their part of the deal by allowing exports of Russian food products and fertilizer.
The media report suggests that Ankara is seeking to resume the grain deal in its previous form because it believes this would help achieve the main goal of the agreement, which was to reduce tensions in the Black Sea basin.
Russian news agency TASS previously reported that there is a genuine possibility of resuming the grain deal. Sources within the Turkish government have stated that the Black Sea transport corridor is cheaper than other alternatives for exporting agricultural produce to global markets.
In a recent phone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the two leaders reached an agreement ahead of a potential meeting. The conversation indicates the willingness of both countries to resolve the issues surrounding the grain deal and foster a productive relationship.
It is worth noting that Turkey’s insistence on the Black Sea corridor for grain transportation aligns with its strategic and economic interests. The Black Sea region is a major hub for global grain trade, and Turkey, as a significant player in the agricultural sector, relies heavily on the availability of efficient transport routes.
By restoring the Black Sea grain deal, Turkey aims to ensure a stable supply of grain for its domestic market and maintain its position as a key grain exporter. The country has been grappling with rising food prices and inflation, and securing a reliable source of grain is crucial for addressing these issues.
Furthermore, the Black Sea corridor offers Turkey a competitive advantage in terms of cost-effectiveness. Alternative routes for exporting agricultural produce may involve higher transportation costs, which can impact the affordability of food products within the country.
Overall, Turkey’s efforts to reinstate the Black Sea grain deal demonstrate its commitment to securing a reliable and cost-effective means of transporting agricultural produce. By engaging in diplomatic talks with relevant stakeholders and supporting the JCC, Ankara aims to resolve the issues surrounding the deal in order to achieve its strategic and economic objectives.