Ukraine needs to "soften its approach" to revive Black Sea grain deal with Russia, Turkish president says

Ukraine needs to “soften its approach” to revive the Black Sea grain deal, from which Russia withdrew in July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

"In order to be able to take common steps with Russia, Ukraine needs to soften its approach. Especially now, grain which will be sent to the least developed poverty-stricken African countries is important,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in Sochi. 

“Putin rightfully does not approve if 44% of the grain goes to European countries,” the Turkish leader added. 

Erdogan said Turkey has prepared a new proposal with the United Nations to revive the grain deal, which involves "important improvements." 

“From the Turkish side, I believe we will be able to reach a solution soon which fulfills the expectations (regarding the grain deal),” he said.

The previous grain deal from which Russia pulled out, was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations. It lasted about a year and allowed billions of dollars worth of grain and wheat to safely transit out of war-torn Ukraine via the Black Sea.

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