Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to persuade G20 leaders to fulfill promises made to Russia in line with an agreement allowing the shipment of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, Turkish officials told Bloomberg.
Erdogan has approached the heads of state of the world’s top economies on the issue of reviving the Black Sea Grain Initiative in closed-door meetings on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi, the news agency reported on Saturday.
The Turkish leader wants his counterparts to agree to facilitate the insurance of Russian food and fertilizer exports by Lloyd’s of London, and to reconnect Moscow to the SWIFT international payments system, the sources said.
An Indian official who spoke to Bloomberg also said Erdogan has frequently brought up the grain deal in meetings at the summit.
The news outlet suggested that the Turkish president’s “efforts aren’t likely to sway Ukraine’s allies in the US and Europe.”
An unnamed Turkish diplomat told RIA Novosti on Friday that during his trip to the Indian capital, Erdogan will be holding talks on “the initiative to resume the Black Sea grain deal.” He also plans to inform the G20 leaders about his negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi last week, the diplomat added.
Following the meeting, Putin said that Russia is ready to return to the grain deal, but only when the West fulfills all of its obligations under the agreement.
The landmark deal between Russia and Ukraine was signed in July 2022 with mediation by the UN and Türkiye, and created a corridor for the safe passage of vessels with Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.
The deal was prolonged on several occasions, but in July, Russia refused to extend it again, citing the failure of the US and EU to keep their promise to facilitate exports of Russian food products and fertilizers.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday that Moscow remains unsatisfied with the conditions for the resumption of the grain deal that are currently being offered to it.
“For example, it’s now said that the West is allegedly ready to promise to allow access to SWIFT to the subsidiary of [Russian agricultural bank] Rosselkhozbank. But the fact is that the agreement states that access to SWIFT should be restored for Rosselkhozbank, not its subsidiary,” Peskov said. Russia has every right to wait until the terms of the initial deal are fulfilled, he added.