September 5: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia was "open" to talks on restoring the landmark Black Sea grain export deal, hours after Moscow pounded one of Ukraine's key grain-exporting ports overnight.
The UN and Turkey-brokered deal, which aimed to ensure safe navigation for civilian ships through the Black Sea, collapsed after Russia pulled out in July.
Moscow has since repeatedly attacked Ukraine's port infrastructure in what Kyiv says is a cynical attempt to damage its exports and undermine global food security.
The Russian drone attack on Monday damaged a grain export hub on the Danube river, officials said, adding that warehouses and agricultural equipment were damaged.
The regional governor Oleg Kiper announced that air defence systems had downed 17 drones.
Hours later Putin met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, amid hopes the two could restore the deal, with Erdogan promising he would make a "very important" announcement on grain exports after the talks.
"I know you intend to raise the issue of the grain deal. We are open to negotiations on this issue," Putin said in televised comments alongside Erdogan. – AFP/RSS