Turkish officials are discussing three scenarios of how the situation around the stalled grain deal may evolve, and Turkey’s top diplomat Hakan Fidan is planning to discuss the results of these discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba, the pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reported on Friday.
If no solution is found 'the [food] crisis would escalate' under a scenario that would not meet the interests of either Russia or Ukraine or the United States, and even 'military tensions could arise.' Under another scenario, unilateral actions will be taken to set up alternative routes based on bilateral agreements, particularly for Ukrainian agricultural supplies via the Danube, or a ground-based route to Europe.
And the third scenario envisages a revival of the grain deal 'as soon as certain Russian concerns are removed,' the newspaper wrote.
This 'is the only option that would benefit all the parties and thwart a global food crisis,' it added.
On July 17, Moscow declined to agree to another extension of the Black Sea grain deal, which had initially been concluded via the Istanbul agreements in July 2022 to guarantee the safe export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea as well as the lifting of restrictions to allow exports of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers.
Moscow said that it was withdrawing from the deal due to the failure of the other parties to fulfill their obligations under the Russia-related provisions of the Istanbul agreements that called for facilitating the export of Russian agricultural products to global markets.
Later, the Russian Defense Ministry said that, due to the termination of the grain deal, effective at midnight on July 20 Moscow would consider all vessels heading to Ukrainian ports via the Black Sea to be carriers of military cargos, while the flag countries of such vessels would be regarded as parties to the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Kiev.
Moreover, the ministry announced that a number of sea regions in the northwestern and southeastern parts of international waters of the Black Sea were deemed temporarily hazardous for navigation.
On August 10, Ukraine announced the opening of 'temporary corridors' in the Black Sea for commercial ships headed to or from the ports of Chernomorsk, Odessa and Yuzhny.