Putin, Erdogan to meet in Sochi next week to discuss grain deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin sits at a meeting in Moscow on August 24. Photo by Kremlin POOL/UPI
Russian President Vladimir Putin sits at a meeting in Moscow on August 24. Photo by Kremlin POOL/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are expected to meet Monday in Sochi in an effort to revive the Ukrainian grain deal Moscow pulled out from, the Kremlin announced on Friday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said the meeting between Putin and Erdogan will happen "in the middle of the day" for about four hours.


Russia withdrew from the initiative on July 17, alleging it was not being implemented fairly and talks between diplomats ended without a deal on Thursday.

Moscow is expected to present a deal that would allow it to ship grain directly to Turkey -- cutting out Ukraine -- and then deliver the product to nations experiencing food insecurity.

Speaking at the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum in St. Petersburg in late July, Putin described the deal as a "more just system of resource distribution" and pledged to provide grain to six Russian allies in Africa for free.

Kyiv has offered its own proposal that similarly excludes Russia.

"Supporting Russian grain exports in the Black Sea without resuming Ukrainian grain exports from Ukrainian ports would deal a severe blow to international obligations and international law," Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.


Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, however, said Thursday that his government was working with the United Nations to salvage the original deal while accounting for Russia's concerns.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, including it's blockade in the Black Sea, sparked a worldwide food shortage in many developing countries since Ukraine was one of the world's leading exporters of grain.

Erdogan and the United Nations helped broker a deal that lifted the sea blockade of Ukraine to allow it to export some 25 million tons of grain marooned at its Black Sea ports in exchange for Russia being permitted to continue its fertilizer exports.

Russia, though has since launched a series of sustained strikes on Ukrainian ports and grain storage facilities that have destroyed a total of 60,000 tons of grain that were slated for export, according to Ukrainian officials.

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