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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Natural gas and grain at the Putin meeting

Putin calls Russia-Turkey energy cooperation “strategic”, says Russia ready to consider reviving grain deal

Russia is ready to consider reviving the grain deal, and immediately, if “all agreements on the lifting of restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products are fully implemented,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a joint press conference with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, essentially repeating the Russian position that the West “cheated” Russia, as “only 3% went to countries that really need food aid” and “over 70% to rich countries, mainly the EU ».

“As I have said many times, we were simply forced to take this decision … because Western countries blocked and continue to block the implementation of the grain agreement in terms of ensuring access of Russian agricultural products to world markets,” he said. That is, he continued, “they refuse to remove our grain and fertilizer exports from sanctions, to resume exports of agricultural machinery and spare parts to Russia, to remove problems in transportation and chartering of ships, banking services and insurance of food exports ». B. Putin reiterated that Kiev was “using the humanitarian corridors for terrorist attacks against Russian civilian and military facilities” and “this cannot be tolerated any longer”.

The Russian leader claimed that “the termination of the agreement did not affect the global food markets… no matter what anyone says. Cereal prices continue to fall. There is no natural shortage of food. There are problems with their fair distribution, yes. But this has nothing to do with the so-called grain agreement.” This is happening, he added, because “Ukraine’s share in world grain exports was 5% and remains so, while under the current conditions it will decrease.”

RT expressed his assessment that “Ukraine needs to soften its approach in order to take joint steps with Russia” for the revival of the grain agreement. Erdogan, who reiterated the intention, as in the past, to contribute as a mediator and make every effort “to establish stable peace.”

Repeating the well-established phrase that Russia “never refused mediation services” to anyone, V. Putin recalled that such initiatives were developed by China and a group of African states, while expressing his gratitude to the Turkish president for “his efforts in this direction “, but also for its cooperation with Qatar in the initiative to send Russian grain for free to six African countries with the greatest food needs, which will be completed in the next two weeks.

Putin and Erdogan hailed the development of their countries’ bilateral relations, reflected in the 86% increase in trade volume last year, which reached a record 62 billion US dollars, with the Russian President recalling that “the share of the dollar and the euro in mutual settlements is steadily declining.

B. Putin called the Russian-Turkish cooperation in the energy sector of “strategic importance”, as Russian nuclear fuel has already been sent to the Akuyo power plant, which will consist of four units with a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts.

The Turkish President confirmed that the cooperation with Russia will continue for the construction of a second nuclear power plant in the Sinop area, for which, as it became known, a similar plan of four reactors has already been proposed by the Russian “Rosatom” group.

The export of Russian natural gas, which last year reached 21.5 billion cubic meters through the Turkish Stream and Blue Stream pipelines, and more than ten billion cubic meters in the eighth month of this year, occupies a key position in bilateral cooperation. As part of his initiative to build a natural gas hub on Turkish territory for its export to third countries, B. Putin announced that “Gazprom has handed over to Turkish Botash a road map plan for the implementation of this project” with the recommendation of a joint working group, coordination of the legal framework and design of bidding systems for exported gas.

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