End of Ukraine's grain deal: Erdogan still able to boost?

On Monday, July 17, the agreement on Ukrainian cereals expires. The future of this mechanism sponsored by Turkey and the United Nations seems to be in jeopardy. Russia is threatening to put an end to it. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to convince Vladimir Putin. But, at the same time, the Turkish president is forced to give pledges to the West, even if it means angering his Russian counterpart.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Astana, Kazakhstan, October 2022. AP - Vyacheslav Prokofyev

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With our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer

Extend the agreement that made it possible for Kiev to resume its deliveries of agricultural products via the Black Sea a year ago. Yes, but now, since his re-election at the end of May, the Turkish president, who has established himself as the privileged mediator between Ukraine and Russia, has multiplied initiatives to satisfy his NATO allies, which irritates his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave strong support to Ukraine's entry into NATO, and accepted Sweden's membership, after a year of deadlock. He also authorized the return to Ukraine of commanders of the Azov regiment, although they were to remain in Turkey until the end of the war.

Moscow was offended. Senator Viktor Bondarev, chairman of the Defence Committee of the Russian Federation Council, even said that Turkey was turning into an "unfriendly country". Some wonder if Ankara is "realigning" itself with the West.

In reality, Tayyip Erdogan has no choice but to give pledges to the West. Inflation remains very high (38%, officially). The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves are dry and foreign investment, especially European investment, crucial for the Turkish economy, has fled the country in recent years in the face of a lack of predictability.

The Turkish head of state must restore confidence in his country. So reach out, again, to Turkey's traditional partners.

READ ALSOTurkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan optimistic about the extension of the grain agreement in the Black Sea

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Read on on the same topics:

  • Turkey
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Ukraine
  • Trade and Commerce