Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to Turkey on June 8 to discuss the establishment of “secure corridors” for the transport of Ukrainian grain, his 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 secure corridors for the transport of grain. This is the most important question”, indicated the minister who wants to “create a center of observation of the corridors in Istanbul”.
He did not specify what form this observation could take or the exact role of Turkey.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said he was ready to work with Turkey on the free movement of goods in the Black Sea, including grain from Ukraine, during a telephone conversation with Turkish Head of State Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to Mr. Putin, “the Russian side is ready to facilitate the unimpeded maritime transit of goods, in coordination with Turkish partners. This also applies to the export of grain from Ukrainian ports”.
Turkey is the main country bordering the Black Sea, on its southern coast, with Russia to the north. Maritime traffic has been made difficult since the start of the conflict by the blockade imposed by the Russian Navy on Ukrainian ports and by the presence of sea mines, some of which have broken off and approached the Turkish coast.
Although an ally of Ukraine, to which it supplies combat drones, Ankara has managed to maintain relations with Moscow, on which it depends in particular for its energy supplies.