Putin says Russia deceived in Ukraine grain deal, will consult Erdogan
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he wanted to review a U.N.-brokered deal between Russia and Ukraine that established a sea corridor which allows Ukraine to export its grain via the Black Sea.
The deal was facilitated by the UN and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian grain exports via a Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul to ease the food crisis and global famine caused by the Russia-Ukraine War.
But Putin said the deal was delivering grain, fertilizer and other foodstuffs to the European Union rather than to poor countries and added Moscow will "have to think about changing routes" for the grain shipments.
"I will definitely consult the President of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan, on this topic because it was he and I who worked out a mechanism for the export of Ukrainian grain first of all, I repeat, in order to help the poorest countries," he said.
Putin said only two of 87 ships, carrying 60,000 tonnes of products, went to poor countries, as he accused the West of acting as colonial states.
There was no immediate comment from Turkey, but according to data from the Istanbul-based coordination group which monitors the deal's implementation, 30 percent of the total cargo had gone to low and lower-middle income countries, Reuters reported.
Ukrainian ports, infrastructure, and agriculture have been slammed by what Moscow calls a "special military operation," which began in late February and included a smothering boycott of Ukraine's Black Sea ports.
The UN- and Turkey-brokered deal between Russia and Ukraine in July was intended to unblock millions of tons of grain and fertilizer whose export was being prevented.