News analysis

Erdogan moves closer to Russia, positions Turkey as critical in handling Ukraine war

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pursuing an objective of positioning Turkey as a critical player in handling the war. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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LONDON - At least 12 ships loaded with Ukrainian grain have left the war-torn country as part of a deal brokered by Turkey to allow Ukrainian food exports for the first time since the Russian invasion started.

The deal boosts the standing of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who succeeded in persuading Russia to lift a naval blockade on Ukrainian ports that sent commodity prices soaring worldwide.

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