Erdogan to discuss grain deal with Putin as second Ukrainian ship arrives in Istanbul
Despite the end of the international grain deal and the Russian blockade, a second cargo ship from Ukraine arrived in Istanbul on Monday. Meanwhile, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced he will meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss future exports of Ukrainian grain.
Russia cancelled the grain agreement that allowed Ukraine to export through the Black Sea at the end of July. Since then, the Russian government has threatened to attack any ships sailing to or from Ukraine.
Despite this, the Hong Kong-flagged container ship Joseph Schulte reached the Turkish port on 18 August by using a new, temporary shipping lane. The Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Primus did the same on Monday by sailing along the coast of Romania and Bulgaria.
Ukraine is a major exporter of grain and hopes to export this autumn's harvest by creating new routes. The country currently relies on land routes and the smaller port of Izmail, which has significantly reduced its export volumes.
That is why Turkey wants to broker a new grain agreement between Russia and Ukraine. Through a potential new deal, Erdogan hopes to secure broader negotiations between the two countries.
A date for the meeting has not yet been announced. According to Bloomberg, Erdogan wants to meet in Russia sometime next week, before travelling to the upcoming G20 meeting in India.
© PHOTO TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP