Moscow, Aug 5 (EFE).- Russian president Vladimir Putin Friday thanked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his role in securing a landmark UN-backed deal to resume grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports that had been blocked since the start of Moscow’s invasion.
“Deliveries have already begun, I want to thank you for this and for the fact that at the same time an accompanying decision was made on uninterrupted supplies of Russian food and fertilizers to world markets,” Putin said as the two leaders sat down for talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
The Russian president said that the agreement between Moscow and Kyiv was “very important” for many countries facing food shortages due to the disruption of Russian and Ukrainian grain exports.
Putin added that European countries should be grateful to Turkey for ensuring the “smooth transition” of Russian gas to the European market through the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.
“Unlike all other routes for our hydrocarbon supplies, the Turkish Stream works correctly, dynamically, and without failure… It has become one of the main arteries for the supply of Russian gas to Europe,” the Kremlin leader said.
Erdogan said Russia played a key role in the global sphere and hoped that Friday’s meeting would open a new chapter in bilateral relations.
According to Turkish media, Erdogan wants to get Putin’s approval for a new Turkish military operation in northern Syria against Kurdish militias, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Putin and Erdogan are meeting in Sochi to discuss grain shipments as well as developments in Ukraine and Syria. According to Russian media, Erdogan traveled to Russia with a large delegation including foreign, defense, energy, finance, agriculture and trade ministers.
The Turkish president has played a key role as mediator in negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv since the beginning of the war in late February. EFE