Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky engaged in a conversation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on Sunday. During their discussion, they deliberated upon the “operation” of a maritime corridor initiated by Ukraine to facilitate the safe navigation of ships following Moscow’s withdrawal from a significant grain agreement. The phone call took place just before a summit in Russia involving President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is keen on reviving the grain pact. Concurrently, Russia launched drone attacks on Ukraine’s Odesa region.
After their conversation, Zelensky took to social media to share insights from their discussion, stating, “We also discussed ways to ensure the functioning of the grain corridor and enhance the security of the Odesa region.”
This week, Ukraine reported that an additional four ships had traversed its temporary maritime corridor in the Black Sea, established last month to guarantee secure navigation.
Erdogan is scheduled to meet with Putin in Sochi, Russia’s Black Sea resort, on Monday, and there is optimism surrounding the potential reactivation of the grain deal.
Zelensky also expressed his gratitude to Macron for France’s “crucial military aid” to Ukraine and revealed that they discussed plans for “the next packages” of assistance.
The French presidency issued a statement reiterating Macron’s commitment to providing ongoing military, industrial, and economic support to Ukraine to assist in the restoration of its complete sovereignty. Additionally, the two nations agreed to initiate discussions on a bilateral arrangement.
In July, the G7 countries collectively pledged their unwavering military support for Ukraine. These commitments are made through individual bilateral agreements between each country and Ukraine, delineating the specific weaponry and resources they will supply to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities.
This development underscores the ongoing international efforts to assist Ukraine in its efforts to safeguard its interests and security amid evolving geopolitical dynamics in the region. The issue of the grain corridor is emblematic of the multifaceted challenges faced by nations in navigating complex agreements and relationships on the global stage. The extent of cooperation and the outcomes of discussions at the Putin-Erdogan summit will be closely watched by the international community.