Turkish, Ukrainian Presidents Discuss Grain Deal, Nuclear Plant Crisis
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke by phone Sunday to discuss the Russo-Ukrainian War and the possibility of expanding the grain deal between the two countries, the Turkish presidency said in a statement. “The grain corridor could be expanded to include different food products and other commodities,” Erdoğan told his Ukrainian counterpart. The Turkish president also suggested “approaching a solution” to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) crisis, the statement said.
Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant and the largest of its kind in Europe, ZNPP has become the center of an ongoing nuclear safety crisis since Russia’s invasion. It has been occupied by Russian forces since March 2022 and damaged by intense shelling that each side blames on the other. It ceased operations amid concerns about a potential nuclear disaster in September.
Erdoğan spoke earlier in the day with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Turkish-Russian relations, exports through the Black Sea grain corridor, and the conflict with Kurdish forces along the Turkish-Syrian border, the Turkish presidency said.
The UN, Turkey, Ukraine, and Russia signed an agreement on July 22 to resume the supply of grain and fertilizers, previously disrupted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, from Ukraine through the Black Sea to the global market.