Zelenskyy arrives in Turkey, meets with Erdoğan
On July 7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Turkey and met with the country's leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Zelenskyy wrote about this on Telegram.
"We are finishing a busy day in Turkey. Negotiations with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Coordination of positions on the Peace Formula, the NATO summit, security guarantees and the grain initiative. Rebuilding Ukraine, defense contracts between our companies," Zelenskyy wrote.
The day before, Zelenskyy also said that one of the topics of discussion in Turkey would also be the exchange of prisoners of war with Russia.
What is known about the grain deal
The agreement, known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, was concluded separately between Russia and the UN and Ukraine and the UN, with Turkish mediation, in July 2022 in Istanbul. It has since been extended several times.
In January, the Ministry of Infrastructure said that as a result of Russian actions in the Bosphorus, the world loses millions of tons of Ukrainian food every month. The Russian forces are hampering the inspection of ships that export grain to third world countries.
In March 2023, the Russian Federation informed the parties to the agreement that the agreement would be extended for only 60 days instead of 120. These agreements were due to expire on May 18.
To extend it, the Russians demanded:
reconnecting Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT
resumption of supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and service
lifting restrictions on insurance and reinsurance plus lifting the ban on access to ports
resumption of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline
unblocking foreign assets and accounts of Russian companies related to the production and transportation of food and fertilizers.
On May 17, the grain deal was extended for 60 days. The Russians' demands were not met.
On June 5, the Russian Federation said it saw no prospects for extending the agreement in July, and on June 22, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said it did not see the Russians' readiness to continue the grain initiative. Doubts about the continuation of the grain deal were also voiced in the UK on July 4.
On July 5, the UN announced its readiness to send a representative to Moscow to "save the grain deal."