Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the city of Sochi on Monday.
The summit will take place against the backdrop of Ankara’s efforts to convince Moscow to reconsider its withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has previously reiterated that Russia will be ready to rejoin the Black Sea initiative as soon as it sees guarantees that benefits promised to Russia will be implemented.
What is the Black Sea grain deal? Russia pulled out of the Turkey and UN-brokered deal on July 17, delivering a blow to global food supplies.
The deal allowed for the safe passage of ships carrying grain from Ukrainian ports. It had already been renewed three times, but Russia repeatedly threatened to pull out, arguing that it had been hampered in exporting its own products.
Since leaving the deal, Russia has unleashed a series of attacks on grain supplies in key Ukrainian cities, including the port city of Odesa.
The collapse of the deal has pushed up global food prices and could tip millions in poor countries into hunger.
Ukraine’s replacement: Kyiv’s navy launched a new route for civilian vessels moving to or from the Black Sea in August.
Since then several vessels have left port, despite the threat of Russian mines.
Even with the new route, Ukraine hasn’t been able to guarantee the safety of shipping so has been exploring ways for merchant vessels to get insurance
Bringing Russia to the table: Turkey has been taking on the role as mediator in attempts to reimplement the grain deal.
At a briefing in Moscow on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan reiterated that reviving the deal was important for the world.
The UN has been seeking to revive the deal as well. Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday that he had sent Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “a set of concrete proposals.”