Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said today he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted the agreement allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported through the Black Sea to continue, shortly after Moscow announced it was suspending its participation in it.

“I believe that, despite today’s statement, my friend Mr. Putin wants to continue the humanitarian agreement” that allows the export of Ukraine’s grain through the Black Sea and expires at midnight today.

“My foreign minister will speak by phone (with his Russian counterpart) and I will speak with Mr. Putin upon my return,” Erdogan told reporters before departing for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Addressing reporters, Erdogan said he would discuss the deal, including the Russian fertilizer export chapter, with Putin during their meeting expected in August in Turkey. “We will have the opportunity to discuss all the issues again.”

“Maybe until then, to move things forward, we can take steps over the phone with Mr. Putin without waiting for August,” the Turkish president added.

The Kremlin previously announced that the agreement, which was signed in July 2022 in Istanbul with Russia and Ukraine under the auspices of the United Nations and Turkey, was “terminating de facto”. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added that “once the part of the agreements concerning Russia is satisfied, Russia will immediately return to the grain agreement.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s Rusgrain grain export association said its members plan to continue supplying their customers with Russian grain at competitive prices, despite Moscow’s announcement.

“Russia is the world’s largest grain supplier… All obligations of Russian grain exporters will be met,” the statement said.