Erdogan Optimistic About Reviving Grain Initiative After Meeting Putin

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend in Russia and is hopeful that the Black Sea Grain Initiative can be revived according to Turkish media.  Russian demands include a return of its Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT payments system and insuring the ships involved in the grain initiative. Erdogan said, “On August 28, U.N. Secretary General Guterres, in the letter he sent, proposed an intermediary mechanism that would result from the SWIFT transaction, not directly SWIFT as the Russians wanted.  They said work was underway on the insurance issue too.” SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) is a “vast messaging network used by financial institutions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions” and “powers most international money and security transfers,” according to  Russia lost access to SWIFT as part of Western sanctions over its war with Ukraine.