Turkish defense minister says grain deal will be renewed

Russia and Ukraine both are positive for extending the grain deal once more, and Ankara believes that the process will continue with the second extension, the Turkish defense minister has said.

“Both sides approach positively, and we believe that it will result in a positive outcome. We are of the opinion that the deadline will be extended on March 18,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in an interview, adding that nearly 24 million tons of grain were delivered to those in need via the deal.

Elaborating on the Syrian refugees returning to their homeland, Akar said around 56,000 Syrians have returned to their home country across the border due to the loss of their homes and relatives after the Feb. 6 earthquakes in southern Türkiye.

Regarding the works carried out in the earthquake area, Akar said, “We made 6,320 sorties in one month. Considering that our Air Force makes 6,500 sorties in 1 year as a transportation sortie, it reveals how hard we work.”

Russia, UN set for Ukraine grain deal renewal talks

Russia and the United Nations will hold talks in Geneva on March 13 on renewing the Ukraine grain export deal, with the U.N. saying the fate of millions rested on its extension.