Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrovwill go to Turkey on June 8 to discuss the deployment of “safe corridors” for the transport of Ukrainian grainhis Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Cavusoglu announced on Tuesday.
“Lavrov will come to Turkey on June 8 with a military delegation to discuss, among other things, the establishment of safe corridors for grain transportation. It is the most important question”, indicated the minister who wants to “create a corridor observation center in Istanbul”.
The minister did not specify what form this center could take or the exact role that Turkey would play.
Russia has been willing to lift the naval blockade on Ukrainian grain exports in exchange for the lifting of certain Western sanctions against Moscow, a claim that is considered blackmail by kyiv and the Western powers.. Ukraine has criticized the Russian naval blockade of its coasts because it prevents it from exporting millions of tons of grain that it has in storage, which could lead to famine in the coming months.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday he was willing to work with this country on the free movement of goods in the Black Sea, including grain from Ukraine, in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Vladimir Putin highlighted the readiness on the part of Russia to contribute to the unimpeded maritime transit of goods, in coordination with Turkish partners. This also applies to grain exports from Ukrainian ports,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
Turkey is the main country on the shores of the Black Sea, on its southern shore, along with Russia in the north..
Maritime traffic has been complicated since the beginning of the conflict due to the blockade imposed by the Russian Navy on Ukrainian ports and the presence of sea mines, some of which have broken off and come close to the Turkish coast.
An ally of Ukraine, to which it supplies combat drones, Turkey has managed to maintain relations with Russia, on which it depends for its energy supply..
The diplomatic meeting will also address other bilateral and regional issues such as the situation in Syria and Turkey’s ambition to control a border strip across the north of that country to protect itself against the YPG Kurdish militias.
Russia is the main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey supports armed factions seeking to overthrow him and is also fighting the YPG, which maintains a tense neutral relationship with the Assad regime.
(With information from EFE and AFP)
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