RUSSIA- The German newspaper Bild recently reported that Russia, Turkey, and Qatar are preparing a grain export agreement to supply Russian grain primarily to African countries.

Citing correspondence between Ankara and Moscow officials, the report indicates that the emerging deal puts Türkiye in charge of the agreement’s organization, while Qatar will be the chief financial backer. 

The report adds that Turkey is trying to link grain exports from Ukraine and Russia and mutually secure them. 

However, while Ukraine simply wants to export its grain, Russia has been trying to dictate what Ukraine should or shouldn’t do via attacks on its grain infrastructure. 

According to Bild, the new deal between Türkiye and Qatar could be finalized by the weekend in Budapest. 

Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of Russia’s Tatarstan Republic, is already in Budapest and there is a pending visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before the end of the week.

According to Ukrainian media outlets, the ramifications of this new deal could be profound for Kyiv. 

If realized, the new agreement might allow Russia to export grain from temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories while restricting Ukraine’s ability to target Russian ships in the Black Sea.

Türkiye was a key negotiator in the original Black Sea Grain Initiative that Russia abandoned in July and according to several reports, Türkiye is still urging Russia to reconsider the decision to withdraw from the former grain agreement which would operate under the United Nations.

Following the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal, Ukraine has been looking for alternative routes to transport its grain, mostly via the Danube River. 

However, frustrations abide as Russia is keen on destroying these routes as well. 

Recently, Romania signed a deal with Ukraine, promising to double its monthly transit of Ukrainian grain to its Black Sea port of Constanta to 4 million tonnes in the coming months, particularly via the Danube River.

Additionally, the European Commission is considering subsidizing the transport of Ukrainian grain through its member states after several countries banned imports, according to Poland’s public radio.

The report further indicated that the issue of subsidizing the transport cost for Ukrainian grain is currently under evaluation at meetings with representatives of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria, together with the EU’s executive arm and Ukraine.

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