Macintosh HDJoint Coordination Centre officials board cargo ship Mehmet Bey as it waits to pass the Bosporus off the shores of Yenikapı during a misty morning in Istanbul, Türkiye, Oct. 31, 2022. (Reuters File Photo)
Ns News Online Desk: Türkiye is in contact with Russia and Ukraine to address the concerns of both countries regarding the suspension of the grain deal, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Tuesday.
“Yesterday, we had a phone call with (Russian Defense Minister Sergei) Shoigu. They said that they were uncomfortable with the explosions and that it was against the agreement and that they could not allow transportation under these conditions,” Akar told reporters in the Turkish capital Ankara, referring to Russian complaints of an attack on its fleet in Crimea last Saturday, which it cited in its suspension on Saturday.
He continued: “We thought we’d talk to Ukraine. We shared Shoigu’s views and concerns with the Ukrainians.”
Akar said that Shoigu is still in talks with his side, adding: “We are evaluating the facts to see if the arrangement will be extended.”
Akar said that all parties should be sensitive to protecting the deal, adding that Türkiye hopes to see it extended. The minister noted that under the deal, Türkiye welcomed more than 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain exported to the world.
Russia on Saturday announced its suspension of the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain export deal.
On July 22, Türkiye, the U.N., Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume Black Sea grain exports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. A Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) with officials from the three countries and the U.N. was set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.
For its part, Türkiye continues to take necessary initiatives with all parties to solve problems related to the implementation of the deal, which had sent out some 10 million tons of grain since early August, helping to stem a global food crisis.