The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, underlined this when speaking with journalists in Kyiv, reports an Ukrinform correspondent.
Tthe head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine commented on today's meeting between the presidents of the Russian Federation and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, regarding the grain agreement.
"If someone meets without Ukraine, it doesn’t mean they speak without Ukraine. Ukraine is like Hamlet's shadow, we are always there," he said.
In this context, Kuleba recalled that Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan recently visited Kyiv. "We had very substantive conversations before he went on to Moscow. We absolutely understand the general logic of the discussion," the minister for foreign affairs emphasized.
He expressed Ukraine's position on the matter: "The Black Sea Grain Initiative must be restored. It must not be restored at the expense of blackmail and fulfilling Russia’s whims. That’s because there were no legal or political grounds for the Russians to withdraw from the agreement. If we go for concessions to them now, they'll come back and then once again withdraw a month later to put forward new terms. It's just classic blackmail."
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also emphasized that Russia cannot be trusted, so it is necessary to develop alternative maritime export lanes for the Black Sea Grain Initiative. According to him, there is a technical possibility to accomplish this, but it is necessary to additionally strengthen security. "We have already shown that it works. We have already shown that there are countries expressing interest in helping us organize this lane on a stable basis," Kuleba added.
At the same time, he noted that there are trusting relations between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In this regard, Kuleba expressed his belief that following Erdogan's talks with Putin, there will be contacts between the Ukrainian and Turkish presidents to discuss all the details.
As Ukrinform reported, on the top agenda of the meeting between the presidents of Turkey and Russia that took place in Sochi on September 4, was the resumption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
After the agreement expired on July 17, 2023, the Russian Federation refused to extend it.