Talks under way between Putin and Erdogan to revive Ukraine grain export deal

The two leaders have enjoyed close ties (AP)
The two leaders have enjoyed close ties (AP)

Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have begun, with the Turkish leader seeking to persuade Russia to revive an agreement that allowed Ukraine to export grain and other commodities from three Black Sea ports.

In July, Mr Putin refused to extend the agreement, which was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations a year earlier.

Russia complained that a parallel deal promising to remove obstacles to Russian exports of food and fertiliser had not been honoured.

It said restrictions on shipping and insurance hampered its agricultural trade even though it has shipped record amounts of wheat since last year.

Opening the talks, Mr Putin said he was open to discussing the grain deal, among other issues.

The two leaders met in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday, where the Russian president has a residence.