Istanbul Grain Deal Nothing to Do with Elections in Turkiye – Lavrov


MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The future of the grain deal has nothing to do with the outcomes of the Turkish presidential election, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

“It [the grain deal] has nothing to do with domestic political events and processes in Turkiye. The deal did not initially concern Turkiye or any particular country when it was proposed by [UN head] Antonio Guterres, it concerned the declared task of ensuring food security and ensuring, above all, the interests of the poorest countries,” Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with his Ugandan counterpart, Jeje Odongo.

Turkiye held parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14. After counting 100% of ballots, the Turkish Supreme Election Council announced on Monday that the second round of the presidential vote would take place on May 28, as none of the candidates had reached the 50% threshold. The first round saw Erdogan winning 49.51% of votes and his main competitor, Kemal Kilicdaroglu receiving 44.88%.

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Lavrov added that the recent extension of the grain deal for another two months will be crucial for the agreement’s future.

“Given the whole range of circumstances, taking into account the appeal of our partners, we supported the initiative of [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, which he announced yesterday — to extend this deal for another two months, but with a clear understanding that these two months will be decisive,” he said.

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