Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, where they discussed various aspects of their bilateral relationship. Putin emphasized the importance of maintaining the positive momentum achieved in the relationship and highlighted potential areas of cooperation in the energy sector. He specifically mentioned the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, which is being constructed by the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, and stated that its first unit will be launched in 2024. He also mentioned the ongoing negotiations regarding creating a gas hub in Turkey.
Erdogan, on the other hand, announced that the central banks of both countries will engage in talks about transitioning to national currencies for settlements. He also said that it is possible that Russia would build a second nuclear power plant in Turkey. In addition, Erdogan highlighted the significant progress in trade between Russia and Turkey, reaching $100 billion. He expressed hope that Russia would provide assistance, including amphibious planes, in extinguishing forest fires.
The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, clarified that no official documents were planned to be signed as a result of the meeting. However, it was previously reported that the presidents might discuss the resumption of grain deal. Prior to the meeting, Putin indicated that Russia is open to resuming the deal if certain requirements are met.
In August, it was reported that a potential grain deal involving Russia, Turkey, and Qatar was being discussed, with no mention of Ukraine. According to diplomatic correspondence, the deal was intended to solely involve Russian grain.
On July 19, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that due to the termination of the grain deal starting from July 20, it will consider all ships sailing in the Black Sea to Ukrainian ports as potential carriers of military cargo. Countries whose flags are flown by such ships will be regarded as involved in the war on Ukraine's side. In response, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense declared that starting from July 21, it may consider all ships heading to Black Sea ports located in Russia or in Ukrainian occupied territories as transporting military goods.