The presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed this Friday (5) to fully comply with the Ukrainian and Russian grain export agreement, and also that Ankara must pay in rubles for the supply of Russian gas, something that Western countries are opposed to.
Both sides defend the “full compliance” of the Istanbul agreements for exports of grains and fertilizers “without obstacles”, says the joint communiqué released after negotiations between the two leaders and their delegations.
Putin and Erdogan recognize “the important role of constructive relations between the two countries in signing the initiative on the safe supply of grain from ports Ukrainians.”
At the beginning of their meeting in the seaside resort of Sochi (Black Sea), Putin thanked Erdogan for his role in the signing of the agreement, which he considered “very important” in the context of the world food crisis. .
The freighter Razoni, the first to set sail from r from Ukrainian territory, transported 26,5 thousand tons of maize from Odesa to Lebanon last Monday, crossing the Bosphorus Strait.
According to the Turkish authorities, three other ships were due to depart this Friday from the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pvidenny.
In turn, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Russian and Turkish leaders agreed that Ankara would partially pay for gas in Russian currency.
“We are gradually moving towards payment in national currency. Part of the supplies will be paid in rubles. This is really a new stage that opens up new possibilities”, he explained.
He recalled that Russia annually supplies 26 billions of cubic meters of gas to Turkey. Putin commented that “European partners should be grateful to Turkey as it is ensuring the smooth transit of our gas to the European market.”
“TurkStream, unlike all other routes in our supply of hydrocarbons, is working correctly, dynamically, without failure (…), it has become one of the main arteries for the supply of Russian gas to Europe”, he highlighted.
According to the Kremlin, the two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria, for which Hakan Fidan, head of the Turkish intelligence service, also traveled to Sochi.
Erdogan wants to get Putin’s approval for a new Turkish military operation in northern Syria against Kurdish militias, the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG), which he has been announcing for weeks.