The lifting of the export deadlock of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea “it depends on the Western countries, which must keep their promises”, decided last Tuesday evening Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“I think a solution can be found,” he added, referring to his recent phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who refused to extend the deal, which was guaranteed by Turkey and the UN, before it expired on July 17.

“Last week, in our telephone conversation with Mr. Putin, we were informed about the demands put forward by Russia,” the Turkish head of state said, without going into details, addressing ambassadors in Ankara.

“The solution to the problem depends on Western countries keeping their promises. The measures that would allow the positive atmosphere created by the Black Sea Initiative to transform into a ceasefire, then into a lasting peace agreement, were not taken,” he said.

In particular, Moscow is calling for the removal of obstacles linked to Western sanctions for the export of its own agricultural products, especially fertilizers.

“Our position is clear” on the issue, insisted Mr Erdogan, who last week called on Mr Putin to “avoid escalation”: as “if the war extends to the Black Sea, it will be a disaster for our region ».