Erdoğan says he told Putin to hold meeting with Zelensky in Türkiye

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ANKARA, AUG 6: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that he told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to hold a meeting with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in Türkiye to contribute to the regional peace.

Talking to reporters onboard the presidential plane after his meeting with his Russian counterpart, he said that a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine is possible “if parties really show sensitivity to promises made”.

On Friday, Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in Russia’s coastal city of Sochi to discuss bilateral relations, regional and international issues.

He also said he told Putin that, although Türkiye’s intelligence carries out work with Syrian intelligence, terror groups are still there in Syria, asking for Russia’s support in this regard.

“Russia’s Putin maintains a fair approach toward Türkiye,” he said.

“He will always be with us in the fight against terrorism.”

Erdoğan also said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding Türkiye-Russia economic and commercial relations signed in Sochi, adding: “We agreed with Putin to pay ruble for some of the gas”.

GRAIN SHIPMENTS

Talking also about the grain exports issue, Erdoğan said that Ankara is working with Moscow on grain shipment from Russian ports.

“The Razoni dry cargo ship passing through Istanbul was actually a first. Behind it, there are about 20 ships waiting at the ports. Above all, Russia is saying right now: ‘We have the preparation, we have the strength to leave the ports. When will you mediate on this?’,” he said.

“Our relevant ministries, primarily our Ministry of Commerce, are working quickly on this issue,” he said.The leaders underlined the need for “the full implementation of the Istanbul agreement, including the unimpeded export of Russia’s grain, fertilizer and raw materials for their production.”

On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian ports for exports of Ukraine grain, which had been stuck for months due to the Russia-Ukraine war, now in its sixth month.

Erdoğan said Russia has 40 million tons of goods, adding that there are some countries who “spread rumors as if Türkiye had stopped the ships. There is no such thing.”

He added all the ships will pass through Türkiye before reaching their final destination.

Thanks to Türkiye’s diplomatic efforts to unblock Ukraine grain exports, the first ship to leave Ukraine under the agreement, Sierra Leone-flagged cargo vessel Razoni, departed from Odesa carrying over 26,500 tons of corn, got security clearance in Istanbul, and is on its way to the Lebanese port of Tripoli, its final destination.

Three more ships, carrying over 58,000 tons of grain, on Friday departed Ukraine ports to reach their final destinations.

‘UNACCEPTABLE CRICITICISM’

Upon a question that Germany and France are targeting Türkiye by defending the claims of Greece, Erdoğan said both Berlin and Paris have become an “instrument of Greek propaganda.”

“It is unacceptable to criticize our country with inaccurate assessments while condoning Greece’s steps that disregard international law. Türkiye’s position for Europe’s stability and security is obvious. We have once again demonstrated this role as a pioneer in resolving the global grain crisis,” he added.

Thanks to Türkiye’s diplomatic efforts to unblock Ukraine grain exports, the first ship to leave Ukraine under the agreement, Sierra Leone-flagged cargo vessel Razoni, departed from Odesa carrying over 26,500 tons of corn, got security clearance in Istanbul, and is on its way to the Lebanese port of Tripoli, its final destination.

Three more ships, carrying over 58,000 tons of grain, on Friday departed Ukraine ports to reach their final destinations.

Erdoğan stated there will be no winner in the Russia-Ukraine war, saying: “Despite the difficulties on the ground, I also maintain my strong belief that the crisis will be resolved at the negotiating table. I reminded Putin once again that we can host his meeting with [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy.”

Türkiye will continue to hold dialogue to contribute to regional and global peace, he added.

Erdoğan said he believes that a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine is possible “if parties really show sensitivity to promises made.”