Türkiye and Russia Hold Talks for a Safe Corridor for Ukrainian Grain
Turkish and Russian governments are having talks regarding creating a safe corridor in the black sea primarily for the export of Ukrainian grain that remains stuck due to mutual distrust between Russia and Ukraine. It is important to note that the Ukrainian government has not consented to this deal, without which the plans would mean little.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with his Turkish counterpart Melvut Cavusoglu and discussed the possibility of a plan that would involve creating a safe corridor for ships carrying wheat and other such products through the black sea. This would require assent from Ukraine as it involves Ukraine demining the regions near its coast. The terms of the potential deal also include Russian forces inspecting incoming merchant ships to ascertain if they are carrying weapons. In contrast, the Turkish Naval forces would escort the merchant ships. However, Ukraine remains reluctant to let down its guard on any front. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign affairs has stated that the Russians could exploit such a corridor to attack Odesa and Southern Ukraine, requiring security guarantees to restore navigation.
The grain shortage is expected to hit the poorer developing nations, especially those in Africa and the middle east. Meanwhile, Ukraine and NATO members such as the EU and the US remain skeptical of the offer as they believe the Russian forces are actively destroying grain in the occupied part of Ukraine and are sending stolen grain to Syria and Türkiye.