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Erdogan: Understanding reached between Russia, Ukraine to swap 200 prisoners

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, United States on September 19, 2022. [Aytaç Ünal - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, United States on September 19, 2022. [Aytaç Ünal - Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Russia and Ukraine have reached an understanding regarding the exchange of 200 prisoners from both sides.

Erdogan said during an interview with the American channel PBS, that the understanding between Russia and Ukraine is a positive development and a very important step.

He added that Turkiye's only desire is for the war to end peacefully, noting that his requests and recommendations to the two presidents, both Vladimir Putin or Volodymyr Zelenskyy, were in this direction because "there is no winner in a war that ends with the death of people."

Moscow and Kyiv have exchanged prisoners several times since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, and hundreds have been released from both sides.

With regards food exports, Erdogan said: "Turkiye has made great efforts to open the grain corridor, and this was achieved through the Istanbul Agreement."

He continued, "Agricultural products were exported with more than 2 million tonnes, close to 3 million tonnes. Currently, there is a new stage in opening Russian products to the world. My only desire is to ship the products to developing or poor countries, not to developed countries."

On 22 July, an agreement was signed in Istanbul between representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkiye and the UN, which allows the export of Ukrainian grain under international supervision.

A similar agreement that guarantees the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilisers, despite international sanctions, was also signed in an effort to alleviate the impact of the global food crisis that has led to prices which have skyrocketed in some of the poorest countries in the world.

READ: Erdogan to urge Russia to send goods through Black Sea corridor – media

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