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Ukrainian grain? Cocaine grain? German FM slips up verbally as Putin, Erdogan discuss Black Sea grain deal in Sochi

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« Annalena Baerbock, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, verbally slipped up during a speech on Monday saying ‘cocaine grain’ instead of Ukrainian grain during a joint press conference with her Romanian counterpart Luminița Odobescu in Berlin.
« […] for extending the European solidarity corridors in your country, [to expand] the export capacity for Ukrainian, cocaine grain by the end of the year […], » Baerbock said.
The slip-up happened while the diplomat hailed Romania’s plans to increase the transit capacity of Ukrainian grain from two million tonnes to four million every month.
Baerbock’s comments came as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Sochi to discuss the Black Sea grain deal. The German FM highlighted the importance of reviving the agreement, commending Turkey’s efforts in the matter, while criticising Putin for withdrawing from the agreement and accusing the Russian president of playing ‘cynical’ games, according to media reports.
Putin said after the meeting on Monday that the landmark deal will not be restored until Moscow’s demands were met by the West. Ukraine and its allies have dismissed the Kremlin’s claims calling them a pretext to advance its own interests.
The Black Sea grain deal, signed in Istanbul in July 2022 between representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations, expired on July 17.
While the agreement allowed for the export of Ukrainian grain and Russian food and fertilisers, Moscow repeatedly insisted the latter part of the deal was not being implemented.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized the Istanbul agreements, saying they undermine the Black Sea Initiative’s humanitarian goals. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov suggested a return once Russia’s part is fulfilled.
However, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative with the UN and Turkey, citing its success in exporting 33 million tons of agricultural produce to 45 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. »

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