Turkey’s foreign minister on Wednesday called Russian demands for an end to sanctions to help grain onto the world market “legitimate”.
“If we need to open up the international market to Ukrainian grain, we see the removal of obstacles standing in the way of Russia’s exports as a legitimate demand,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Ankara.
Sanctions imposed on Moscow’s financial system have impeded the export of Russian grain and fertiliser.
Lavrov arrived in Ankara on Tuesday amid stark warnings of global food shortages partly blamed on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
At the request of the United Nations, Turkey has offered its services to escort maritime convoys from Ukrainian ports, despite the presence of mines — some of which have been detected near the Turkish coast.
Cavusoglu welcomed the UN plan as “reasonable” and “implementable”, while offering to host a meeting in Istanbul to discuss the details of the scheme.