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Putin, Erdogan to discuss grain deal in Samarkand -- Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan will talk on the sidelines of the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday.

He noted that, among other things, they may discuss the situation around the grain deal. Replying to a question as to whether the two leaders may touch on this subject, the Kremlin official said that this discussion was "possible and necessary." "The conversation between Putin and Erdogan which, as we hope, will take place in Samarkand, is already in the works," he added.

According to Putin's press secretary, the situation is ripe for such a conversation. "We see that the Istanbul grain agreements are being implemented. We see that this implementation does not particularly bring any benefits to poor countries since only two vessels with food cargo arrived in these poor countries (using the UN classification)," he noted, adding that this is the first subject for discussion.

The second subject is getting Russian food products to international markets. "We heard some rather sly statements by officials from the US and a number of European countries that, allegedly, no sanctions involve Russian food or Russian fertilizers," he said.

Peskov noted that de jure this is indeed the case. "Yet, de facto, bringing Russian food and fertilizers to the international markets is highly complicated and very restricted because merchant ships cannot enter ports, they are not being insured, they are not being serviced - and so on, and so forth," he pointed out.

That said, the Kremlin spokesman reiterated, when the countries were agreeing on this deal then "the unblocking of the situation in the Black Sea, facilitating this process" was linked with the unblocked access of the Russian products to the international markets. "The Black Sea part of this agreement with the direct participation of Russia and with extremely valuable mediating efforts of the Republic of Turkey was resolved. The second part was not resolved. This is the subject of a special conversation," he concluded.

A package of documents geared towards resolving the issue of food and fertilizer supplies on global markets was signed on July 22 in Istanbul. Under the Russia-UN memorandum, the United Nations undertakes to work toward lifting anti-Russian restrictions hampering the exports of agricultural products and fertilizers. Another document envisages a mechanism of exporting grain from Ukraine-controlled Black Sea ports. An agreement between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations provides for the establishment of a four-party coordination center to search ships carrying grain in order to prevent weapons smuggling and avoid any false flag. The UN's goal is to reach the volume of export of 2-5 mln tonnes of food per month.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 09Sepo22]

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