Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit Russia in the coming days to discuss the defunct United Nations-brokered deal that had permitted the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, announced Omer Celik, spokesperson for Turkey’s ruling AKP on Monday.
The agreement, which was negotiated and overseen by both the UN and Turkey, was operational for a year but came to a halt last month when Moscow decided to withdraw from its commitments. As a result, the seaports in Odessa, Ukraine, that once saw the export of tens of millions of tons of grain, now stand jeopardized.
Subsequent to the collapse of the grain-export agreement, Russia has escalated tensions in the region by targeting Ukrainian ports with an onslaught of missiles and kamikaze drones. These actions have raised concerns on the international front, with many countries urging both nations to return to peaceful negotiations.
Celik remained ambiguous about the specifics of Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Russia, revealing that Erdogan would soon be at Russia’s Black Sea resort in Sochi. However, details on whether he will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin during this visit remain uncertain. “After this visit, there may be developments and new stages may be reached regarding the grain deal,” Celik explained to the press.
Russian authorities, particularly from the Kremlin, indicated last Friday that there is mutual understanding and anticipation that the two leaders will soon have a face-to-face conversation.
Meanwhile, international news agency Bloomberg, referencing two unnamed sources, reported that Erdogan is slated to meet Putin in Russia possibly on September 8th. This crucial meeting is expected to occur before Erdogan’s subsequent travels to the G20 summit set to take place in India.
This visit and potential meeting between the two leaders come at a pivotal moment, with hopes that dialogue can reestablish the previously beneficial grain export deal and reduce the mounting tensions in the Black Sea region.