Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan Meet To Try To Salvage the Black Sea Grain Deal, as Russian Drones Pound Ukrainian Sea Ports for Two Nights in a Row

Russian Federation forces pounded the Odessa region ports, in major drone attacks to the fuel and grain depots, as Turkey’s Erdogan and Russia’s Putin meet in a bid to revive the Black Sea grain deal.

Danube River ports like Reni and others were targeted with a swarm of Geranium (Shahed) drones, since they have become crucial waypoints for Ukraine’s wheat exports since July.

New York Post reported:

“Russian drones blitzed a Ukrainian port vital to the nation’s wheat exports, injuring two people — a day before an expected meeting between Russia President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leaders to negotiate a resumption of food trade in the region.

At least 25 Iranian-made Shahed drones bombarded the Reni seaport in a nearly four-hour assault Sunday morning.

Russian officials said the attack set ablaze fuel stockpiles used by Ukrainian military forces.”

Russia has left the deal, brokered by the UN and Turkey, that was supposed to allow safe grain exports through the Black Sea, since a parallel deal promising to remove obstacles to Moscow’s exports of food and fertilizer had not been honored.

Erdogan has indicated an understanding of Putin’s position.

“In July, [Erdogan] said Putin had ‘certain expectations from Western countries’ over the Black Sea deal and that it was ‘crucial for these countries to take action in this regard’.”

Russia’s assault on Reni was just the latest on vital infrastructure in Ukrainian ports since the deal was interrupted.

Al-Jazeera reported:

“The meeting, to take place in Sochi on Russia’s southern coast, comes after weeks of speculation about when and where the two leaders might meet. Erdogan previously said Putin would travel to Turkey in August.”

[…] Since Putin withdrew from the initiative, Erdogan has repeatedly pledged to renew arrangements that helped avoid a food crisis in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Erdogan has maintained close ties with Putin during the 18-month war in Ukraine. Turkey has not joined Western sanctions against Russia following its invasion, emerging as a main trading partner and logistical hub for Russia’s overseas trade.”

NATO member Turkey, however, has also supported Ukraine, sending weapons, and backing Kiev’s bid to join the alliance.

Just before Erdogan’s arrival, Russian Geranium drones hit the Ukrainian ports of Reni and Izmail in the Odessa region For the second night in a row. It is significant that Russia is able to strike deep into western Ukraine, almost on the border with Romania, using relatively inexpensive drones, and not having to resort to advanced missiles.

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