Day 559 of the Invasion of Ukraine: After the Putin-Erdogan Meeting in Sochi the Grain Deal remains Blocked for now

Ukraine | September 5, 2023, Tuesday // 08:39|  views

Day 559 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Russia has thwarted a Ukrainian drone attack aimed at Moscow
  • The leader of North Korea plans a visit to Russia
  • After the Putin-Erdogan meeting in Sochi: The grain deal remains blocked for now
  • Cuban authorities have revealed an illegal channel for recruiting people for the needs of the Russian "special military operation" in Ukraine

Russia has thwarted a Ukrainian drone attack aimed at Moscow

Russia says it has thwarted a Ukrainian drone attack aimed at Moscow overnight. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demonstrated his support for the soldiers on the front lines by visiting a front-line section of the front in the Donetsk region.

Russian air defenses have shot down drones launched by Ukraine on the territory of Moscow, Kaluga and Tver regions. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on social media that the drones were aimed at the Russian capital. He specified that there were no casualties or damage at the place where the debris fell in the Istrinsky district of the Moscow region.

There is a delay in about 50 arriving and departing flights at the main Moscow airports.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Ukrainian soldiers at the front in the Donetsk region, awarding those who distinguished themselves.

"It is very important to support our soldiers, to talk with the commanders of brigades and battalions in order to understand what they need, what they have enough of and what needs to be changed," the head of state emphasized.

Zelensky emphasized that all the mentioned problems, including the issue of means of radio-electronic warfare, will be discussed with the General Staff.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv will not become a hostage to Russian blackmail, commenting on Turkish President Recep Erdogan's call for a change in Ukraine's approach to the grain deal. According to Kuleba, Ukraine will defend all its principled positions, including the one on sanctions pressure against Russia.

In the coming days, Turkey will brief the United Nations on the results of the Erdogan-Putin talks in Sochi amid attempts by Ankara and the world body to breathe new life into an agreement to export Ukrainian grain through a secure Black Sea corridor, a Turkish diplomatic source said.

The leader of North Korea plans a visit to Russia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to travel to Russia this month to meet with President Vladimir Putin. This was reported by CBS, citing a source in the US government.

The two leaders will discuss the possibility of North Korea supplying Moscow with weapons for the war in Ukraine, the US official explained. Kim Jong Un will likely travel by armored train, sources told The New York Times. The exact location of the future meeting is not yet known.

So far, there has been no official comment from Pyongyang or Moscow, but the news comes after the White House announced that arms talks between the two countries are moving forward.

After the Putin-Erdogan meeting in Sochi: The grain deal remains blocked for now

The grain deal remains blocked for now. In a meeting with the Turkish president in the Russian resort of Sochi, the Russian president said that there will be no agreement on Ukrainian grain until the West fulfills Moscow's demands. To revive the deal, Recep Erdogan called on Kyiv to soften its stance towards Russia. Energy - was also discussed by the two presidents. Putin announced that a gas hub is being built in Turkey. Another highlight of the meeting was the war in Ukraine.

Without signing documents, without a breakthrough on the grain deal, but with a good assessment of Erdogan's diplomacy, the meeting in Sochi ended.

"After consultations with the UN, we have prepared a new package of proposals. In my opinion, with them it is possible to achieve results," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey.

A year after Erdogan played a key role in getting Moscow and Kyiv to agree on Ukrainian grain exports and two months after the grain deal collapsed, the Turkish president arrived in Sochi to try to bring Russia back into the deal. Moscow's position, however, remains unchanged for now.

"We will consider the possibility of reviving the agreements as soon as restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products are fully implemented," said Vladimir Putin, Russia's president.

To get back into the deal - one of Moscow's main demands is for the Russian Agricultural Bank to be reconnected to the SWIFT international payments system. The European Union excluded it in June 2022 as part of the large-scale sanctions of Brussels.

Putin announced that Russia is starting to supply Africa with free grain - how it will be delivered, however, is not yet clear:

"We are close to finalizing agreements with six African countries where we intend to deliver food for free and even do free logistics."

In Sochi, the Turkish delegation is large. Erdogan was accompanied by the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, finance and energy and the governor of the Turkish central bank. The subject of Russian gas was also discussed.

"We have made progress and I hope that we will soon conclude negotiations on the creation of a gas hub in Turkey," Putin said.

During the 18-month war, Turkey did not join Western sanctions against Russia and emerged as Moscow's main trading partner.

"Last year, trade between Russia and Turkey increased by 86%. In the first half of this year, the positive trend continues," the Russian president also said.

"The volume of foreign trade between Turkey and Russia is currently 62 billion dollars. The fact that we are moving towards the goal of 100 billion dollars really makes us very happy," Erdogan said.

However, Turkey also supports Ukraine. Ankara sent arms to Kyiv and stood behind Ukraine's bid for NATO membership. Erdogan has demonstrated more than once that he would play the role of mediator between Russia and Ukraine. He is meeting Putin for the first time since he was re-elected president. The last face-to-face meeting between the two was almost a year ago.

Cuban authorities have revealed an illegal ring for recruiting people for the needs of the Russian "special military operation" in Ukraine

The Cuban authorities announced that they had discovered an illegal ring for recruiting people for the needs of the Russian "special military operation" in Ukraine, reported AFP.

The Cuban Ministry of the Interior "is working to neutralize and dismantle a human trafficking network that operates from Russia to include Cuban citizens living there, and even some from Cuba, in the armed forces participating in military operations in Ukraine," was said in an official statement. The Cuban authorities have started "criminal proceedings against the people involved in these activities," the text also said, which did not contain details.

Cuba is not involved in the war in Ukraine, recalled the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs and categorically rejected the practice of using mercenaries.

Havana came out with this reaction after a US Spanish-language media showed on Friday two Cuban teenagers who say they were tricked on Facebook to go to work on construction sites for the Russian army in Ukraine, AFP noted. The youths say they are scared and plead for help, with one explaining that he agreed to legalize his status in Russia.

Moscow and Havana, which were allies during the Soviet era, strengthened their diplomatic relations after the start of Russia's war against Ukraine, according to AFP. At the end of last year, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel was received by his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and during this year, political and business delegations from both countries exchanged visits. In June, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu welcomed his Cuban counterpart Alvaro López Miera.

Novinite is still the only Bulgarian media that publishes a summary of events and highlights related to the conflict, every single day. Our coverage began on day one - 24.02.2022 and will not stop until the war has concluded. Despite the pressure, our independent media will continue to provide its readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Thank you for your support! #stayinformed

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Tags: Ukraine, Russia, Putin, Kyiv


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