Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron spoke Sunday, discussing the “functioning” of a sea corridor set up by Kyiv for safe navigation of ships after Moscow exited a landmark grain deal.
The phone call came on the eve of a summit in Russia between President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who wants to revive the grain deal, and as Moscow hit Ukraine’s Odesa region with drones.
“We also discussed ways to ensure the functioning of the grain corridor and enhance the security of the Odesa region,” Zelensky said on social media after a phone call with Macron.
Ukraine this week said four more ships had gone through its temporary maritime corridor in the Black Sea, set up last month to ensure safe navigation.
Erdogan is due to meet Putin in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday, amid hopes for the revival of the deal.
Zelensky also thanked Macron for France’s “crucial military aid” to Kyiv and said the pair “discussed the next packages”.
The French presidency said Macron “reiterated France’s determination to continue supporting Ukraine militarily, industrially and economically over the long term, so that Ukraine can regain its full sovereignty”.
The presidency said the two countries had “decided to launch discussions on a bilateral arrangement”.
In July, G7 countries pledged long-term military support for Ukraine, negotiated by each country under bilateral agreements detailing the weapons they will supply.
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