By Janet Ekstract ISTANBUL-On Monday, Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Putin will meet in Sochi to hash out the latest proposals regarding the Black Sea Grain Initiative known as the Black Sea grain deal. The two leaders are expected to discuss the latest proposal from the U.N. that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said has “positive solutions” to counter Russia’s complaints about its grain and fertilizer exports. Putin allowed the renewal of the deal to lapse at the last deadline which was July 17. Russia’s primary complaint is that there are issues of insurance and shipments for its grain and fertilizer though no sanctions were placed on Russia’s sales for those.
The meeting between the two leaders comes on the heels of Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan’s visit in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who told the press earlier this week, that Russia could rejoin the grain deal asap if its conditions are met. Both U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Guterres said that Russia’s claim that its grain and fertilizer haven’t taken priority are not true. Nevertheless, Guterres penned a letter to Lavrov about the grain deal and presented a new proposal that he told the press that he’s confident it will satisfy Russia. At the Sochi meeting, Erdogan and Putin will also discuss bilateral relations, trade, security issues and the current situation in Syria.