Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's President Vladimir Putin discuss the grain initiative, bilateral issues and regional matters in a phone call.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has thanked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for his "constructive stance" on the extension of the Ankara-brokered Black Sea grain deal.
Erdogan and Putin spoke in a phone call on Friday about the latest developments regarding the deal, bilateral issues, and regional matters, the Turkish Communications Directorate said in a statement.
On Thursday, days before its scheduled expiration, the landmark grain deal signed in Istanbul in July by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine was extended for another 120 days, beginning November 19.
The Turkish leader told Putin that prolonging the war in Ukraine only increases the risks, and called for diplomatic efforts to be revived.
Turkish President Erdogan in phone call with Russian President Putin:— TRT World (@trtworld) November 18, 2022
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Türkiye gas hub
In their discussions, Erdogan also welcomed Putin’s proposal to set up a natural gas hub in Türkiye, the statement said.
He said "technical and legal teams" will evaluate the proposal at the earliest to move the plan forward, it added.
Erdogan also hailed the recent meeting between Russian and US intelligence chiefs in the Turkish capital Ankara.
He said such initiatives could play a "key role" in preventing unrestrained escalation in the region, referring to Tuesday’s missile incident in Poland.
The Turkish president also thanked Putin for his condolences over the recent terrorist attack in Istanbul that killed six people.