Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Istanbul on Friday, July 7, for talks with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish media reported.

The meeting is expected to focus on an expiring deal to ship Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea as well as next week's NATO summit, the reports said.

Analysts expect Zelensky to push Erdogan to give his green light for Sweden's membership of NATO ahead of the July 11-12 alliance summit in the Lithuanian Vilnius.

Turkey is blocking Sweden's candidacy because of a longstanding dispute about Stockholm's allegedly lax attitude toward Kurdish militants living in the Nordic country.

Both Zelensky and Erdogan also want to extend a deal with Russia under which Ukraine has been allowed to ship its corn and other grains to global markets during the war.


Erdogan has tried to use his good working relations with both Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin to try and mediate and end to the war.

Turkey staged two early rounds of peace negotiations and is pushing for more talks.

But Western governments worry about NATO member Turkey's growing economic ties with Russia and its resistance to the bloc's expansion.

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