- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Turkey-Russia Summit in Sochi: No Breakthroughs Amid Grain Deal Uncertainty
The recent meeting between the Presidents of Turkey and Russia in Sochi has concluded without any significant breakthroughs. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the three-hour meeting as “constructive dialogue.” Prior to the meeting, Turkish President Recep Erdogan had alluded to global anticipation regarding the outcome of negotiations related to a grain deal, 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 concerning 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, citing unmet requirements such as 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’s proposal involves supplying 1 million tonnes of grain “at a discounted price” for processing in Turkey, with eventual free transportation to the world’s most impoverished countries.
Reports from Russian and Turkish media suggest that 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 these discussions.
Upon arriving in Sochi, President Erdogan emphasized that “the whole world is closely monitoring the developments related to the grain corridor during the Russian-Turkish summit.” Erdogan specifically highlighted the concerns of developing nations that heavily rely on grain and other food supplies from Ukraine, emphasizing the elevated risk of a food crisis for these countries in the event of disruptions.
Additionally, before his talks with Erdogan, President 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 had initially aimed to complete construction this year, coinciding with the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic. The Akkuyu nuclear power plant will mark Turkey’s debut in the field of nuclear power generation, signifying a significant milestone in the nation’s energy landscape.
The meeting in Sochi underscores the complex dynamics between Turkey and Russia, with the grain deal serving as one of the pivotal points of discussion. The outcome of these negotiations will have far-reaching implications for not only the two nations but also for global food security and international trade relationships.
Article by Prague Forum