The recent meeting between the presidents of Turkey and Russia in Sochi did not produce any significant breakthroughs. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that the meeting concluded after three hours of “constructive dialogue.” Turkish President Recep Erdogan, before the meeting, had mentioned the global anticipation regarding the outcome of the grain deal negotiations, but as of now, the agreement has not been renewed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, as reported by RT.com, indicated after the meeting that Russia would consider re-engaging in agreements related to grain exports via the Black Sea only if Western nations fulfill their part of the deal by lifting sanctions on Russian agricultural products. Russia withdrew from the agreement on July 18 due to unmet requirements, including the reconnection of Rosselchozbank to the SWIFT payment system and the removal of barriers hindering the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to the global market.
Russia intends to supply 1 million tonnes of grain “at a discounted price” for processing in Turkey and eventual free transportation to the world’s most impoverished countries.
Reports from Russian and Turkish media suggest that the negotiations regarding the renewal of the agreement for exporting Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea were a primary focus of Erdogan’s meeting with Putin. The foreign and defense ministers from both countries also participated in the discussions between the two heads of state.
Upon arriving in Sochi, the Turkish president emphasized that “the whole world is closely monitoring the developments related to the grain corridor during the Russian-Turkish summit.” Erdogan particularly highlighted the concerns of developing nations that heavily rely on grain and other food supplies from Ukraine, as any disruptions pose an elevated risk of a food crisis for these countries.
Additionally, prior to his talks with Erdogan, Putin announced that the first unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, constructed by Rosatom in Turkey, is scheduled to become operational next year. It’s worth noting that Rosatom was initially expected to complete the construction this year, coinciding with the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic. This facility will mark Turkey’s inaugural nuclear power plant.