How Erdogan wants to save 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain

Bosphorus PHOTO: ARCHIVE

More than 20 million tons of grain are in Ukraine because Russia is blocking Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, writes the authoritative economic newspaper Handelsblatt. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of blackmailing the world through port blockades.

Ukraine’s Black Sea ports have been blocked since Russia’s military invasion on February 24th, leaving more than 20 million tonnes of grain unable to be transported.

It is appalling how Putin uses hunger and food insecurity among the world’s poorest people as weapons, she said during a visit to Bosnia. “It simply came to our notice then. Putin must lift the blockade on Ukrainian grain. “

The Turkish president is negotiating a corridor for the export of agricultural products with Russia and Ukraine. Erdogan wants to save 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain, Handelsblatt commented.

Turkey is very concerned about this as a member of NATO and as a Black Sea country as Russia and Ukraine. For years, it has maintained complex political and close economic ties with both countries. It buys air defense systems from Russia – without NATO approval, and sells combat drones to Ukraine.

Turks are heavily dependent on Russia economically: they import 40% of Russia’s natural gas and 25% of its oil, Deutsche Welle reports.

Turkey is also highly dependent on imports of Russian agricultural products. Wheat, barley, soybeans, chickpeas, sunflower seeds and corn are supplied from Russia. Wheat is definitely the most important – Turkey covers 70% of its needs with imports from Russia.

Without the flour obtained from this wheat, Turkish bakers would not be able to sell their traditional white bread at their current prices. And the price is crucial as inflation rises sharply.

Russia and Ukraine provide nearly a third of the world’s wheat supplies. The suspension of exports from Ukraine is currently contributing to the growing global food crisis.

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