Turkey says Russia concerned over security, exports in grain deal

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Photographer Umit Bektas/File Photo

By Reuters

Russia is concerned about its security and the obstacles it faces exporting fertiliser and grains, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlu Cavusoglu said on Wednesday, days after Moscow suspended its participation in a U.N.-brokered export deal.

Ankara, in talks with Kyiv and Moscow to fully resume the agreement that it helped broker in the summer, has sounded optimistic that a solution can be found after Russia announced its suspension on Saturday.

Speaking at a panel in Ankara, Cavusoglu cited two reasons for Moscow’s move.

“Russia has some security demands after the recent attack on its ships,” he said of an attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet over the weekend.

Moscow is also concerned about its fertiliser and grain exports, “which are not on the list of sanctions but the ships that are carrying these still cannot dock,” Cavusoglu said, echoing comments by Russian officials.

“They still cannot get insurance and payments are not made,” he said. “Therefore, a lot of countries’ ships are shying away from carrying these loads.”