Erdogan, Zelensky discuss expanding scope of grain deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky react while giving a press conference following the talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Lviv on Aug 18, 2022. (DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP)

ANKARA – Presidents of Türkiye and Ukraine on Sunday discussed expanding the scope of the grain deal and the Ukraine-Russia conflict over the phone, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that Türkiye continued to work towards meeting the humanitarian needs of the Ukrainian people in the "difficult winter months."

"The grain corridor could be expanded to include different food products and other commodities," said Erdogan.

He also expressed hope for "approaching a solution" to the issue of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine, according to the statement.

ALSO READ: IAEA: No immediate nuclear safety concerns at Zaporizhzhia plant

Zelensky thanked Türkiye for "sheltering Ukrainian children and providing hundreds of generators for our cities."

The grain corridor could be expanded to include different food products and other commodities.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish President

Türkiye has been evaluating the contributions that can be made for the implementation of the peace plan announced by Zelensky at the G20 Summit, Erdogan told his Ukrainian counterpart.

Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan was closely involved with the group of 1,033 people consisting of Ukrainian orphan children and their companions hosted in the Turkish capital Ankara, he added.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan had a phone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which they discussed Türkiye-Russia relations, exports through the Black Sea grain corridor and the fight against terrorism along the Turkish-Syrian border, said the Turkish presidency.

READ MORE: Türkiye, Russia agree to send free grain to needy countries

On July 22, Russia and Ukraine separately signed a document in Istanbul with Türkiye and the United Nations to ensure grain and fertilizer supplies to the global market amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.  

Meanwhile, Zelensky said that he had separate conversations with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Zelensky tweeted that he discussed with Macron "the implementation of our ten-step peace formula, cooperation on defense and energy stability" of Ukraine