Black Sea Grain Deal Discussed

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart will discuss a proposal by Moscow for an alternative to the Black Sea grain deal when they meet this week.

Under the plan, Russia would send a million tons of grain to Turkey at a discounted price, with financial support from Qatar, to be processed in Turkey and sent to countries most in need.

Last month, Russia pulled out from the year-old deal, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, that had enabled Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports despite the war.

Since then, Russia has repeatedly attacked Ukrainian ports and grain stores, prompting Ukraine and the West to accuse it of using food as a weapon of war.

Russia says it quit the deal because too little of the grain was getting to the poorest countries, and because it still faces obstacles to the export of its own grain and fertilizer given that Western sanctions affect payments, insurance and port access.

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