– Erdogan sees ‘different page’ in ties with Russia –
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin he hopes to open a “different page” in ties between Ankara and Moscow.
“I believe that (today’s meeting) will open a whole different page in Turkish-Russian relations,” Erdogan says at the start of talks in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi.
NATO member Turkey has sought to remain neutral in the face of Moscow’s historic stand-off with the West over Ukraine.
It has hosted peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and in late July brokered a UN-backed agreement to resume grain deliveries from Ukrainian ports.
– Three more grain ships leave Ukraine –
Three ships loaded with grain for world markets leave Ukraine, the second departure under the deal struck in Istanbul in July between Moscow and Kyiv to lift Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea.
Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain exporters and the halt of almost all of its deliveries after Russia’s invasion on February 24 has sent global food prices soaring, making imports prohibitively expensive for some of the world’s poorest nations.
“Our main goal is to increase the transhipment volume in our ports. We have to process 100 carriers per month to be able to export the necessary amount of foodstuffs,” Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov says.
– Amnesty stands by report –
Rights group Amnesty International tells AFP it “fully stands by” its accusations that Ukraine is endangering civilians by establishing bases in residential areas to counter the Russian invasion.
In Thursday’s report, which prompted a furious response from Kyiv, Amnesty listed incidents in 19 cities and towns where Ukrainian forces appeared to have put civilians in harm’s way.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky equated the accusations to victim blaming. In his evening address on Thursday, he said the rights group had sought to offer “amnesty (to) the terrorist state and shift the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”.
– EU sanctions ex-president Yanukovych –
The European Union slaps sanctions on former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and his son Oleksandr for allegedly undermining Ukraine’s security.
Yanukovych, president between 2010 and 2014, was overthrown by a popular uprising against his government’s turn away from the West and towards Moscow.
Following his ouster, Moscow moved to annex Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region.
The sanctions document accuses Yanukovych of plotting to return to power in Ukraine if the Russian invasion succeeds in toppling Zelensky.
– Russia expels Bulgarian diplomats –
Russia says it is expelling 14 Bulgarian consular and embassy staff in response to Sofia’s “unmotivated” decision to expel Russian diplomatic personnel, amid tensions over the invasion of Ukraine.
Multiple European countries have expelled Russian diplomats since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine, with Russia responding in kind.
Bulgaria in June said it was expelling 70 Russian diplomatic staff, the largest number ordered out in one go from the Balkan nation.
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