Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he believed a deal allowing Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea would remain in place beyond its expiration on Saturday.
Erdogan told reporters at the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia that talks were ongoing about extending the deal and that he planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he returned from Mountain peak.
The United Nations and Turkey brokered agreements with Ukraine and Russia in July to allow Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports with ships checked in Turkey, and Russia to export food and fertilizers.
The UN says around 11 million tonnes of grain and foodstuffs have been exported to 42 countries since the start of the agreement.
Russia launched waves of airstrikes on Ukraine on Tuesday, targeting 10 regions, including the capital of Kyiv, in a military rebuke to Ukrainians reveling in one of their greatest wartime successes, the capture of control last week of the key southern city of Kherson.
Air raid alerts sounded across the country. The barrage of nearly 100 strikes – including with missiles – followed days of euphoria in Ukraine following the Russian withdrawal from Kherson and the Ukrainian takeover of the regional capital which Moscow forces had captured at the start of the war. war of nearly nine months.
In Bali, Indonesia, at the meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 largest industrialized nations, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan condemned the Russian airstrikes.
“We are mindful that as world leaders gather at the G-20 in Bali to discuss issues of significant importance to the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, Russia is once again threatening those lives and destroying critical infrastructure in Ukraine. These Russian strikes will only serve to heighten concerns within the G20 about the destabilizing impact of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war,” Sullivan said. in a press release. “We will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
With its battlefield defeats, Russia resorted to longer-range airstrikes on Ukraine’s power grid as winter approached, believing it to be a demoralizing psychological weapon for leave the Ukrainians in the cold and the dark.
White House correspondent Anita Powell contributed to this report. Some information for this report comes from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters