The Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday in an effort to revive a deal that would guarantee the safe passage of grain shipments.
In July, Russia withdrew from the UN-backed grain agreement that Turkey had helped to organize, thus rescinding the right of civilian ships to navigate the Black Sea.
On Monday, negotiations will in fact take place in Sochi, according to Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin. Soon after Ukraine reported that two additional ships were passing through a temporary passageway Kyiv had established to ensure safe navigation, Moscow made its announcement.
Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov posted on social media that “two ships are sailing through a temporary corridor from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to the Bosphorus.” Following a warning from Moscow that ships leaving Ukrainian ports could be treated as military targets, Kyiv established the new maritime corridor in August.
Hakan Fidan, the foreign minister of Turkey, stated that restoring the agreement to ship Ukrainian grain over the Black Sea was “critical” for food security when visiting Moscow on Thursday.
The agreement should be revisited and used as a starting point for more extensive peace negotiations, according to Turkey. Moscow claims that by restricting Russia’s access to international payment and insurance networks, the prior deal imposed indirect limits on its exports of grains and fertilizers.
It has frequently stated that if its demands are granted, it may rejoin the agreement.