Russia’s raid on a ship just off the coast of Turkey demonstrates the consequences of Ukraine’s war on NATO’s borders. At the same time, Ankara is trying to persuade Moscow to return to a grain export deal that would restore some calm in the Black Sea, Reuters reports in an analysis.

Armed marines raided the Turkey-based vessel via helicopter on Sunday, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) off Turkey’s northwest coast, in international waters but close to Istanbul, in what Moscow described as reconnaissance before it sailed to Ukraine.

Turkey, NATO’s second-largest military, has made no public comment on the incident, which occurred far south of where the war has been raging for a year and a half in the northern Black Sea.

The happening analysts say it is “testing the resolve” of President Tayyip Erdogan to maintain good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putinwhom he has invited to Turkey this month to discuss restarting the UN-brokered deal.

“This kind of aggression so close to Istanbul does not respect Turkey’s comprehensive rights,” said Yoruk Isik, an Istanbul-based geopolitical analyst at the Bosphorus Observer consultancy. “Ankara’s silence is strange but shows it is still counting on Putin to visit and return to the grain deal.”

Since Russia pulled out of the deal last month, both it and Ukraine have issued warnings and carried out attacks on ships off their coasts, raising concerns that merchant shipping could become more dangerous across the sea. area.

While Ukraine and some other Western states have promoted alternative routes for Ukrainian exports, Ankara, which also has good relations with Kiev, quietly opposes them on security grounds. He wants the West to accept some Russian demands and Russia to reject others so that Ukraine’s grain exports can restart under the supervision of the UN and Turkey.

On Wednesday, Russia hit more Ukrainian port facilities, even as Kiev announced the first container ship had left Odesa through its own “humanitarian corridor.”

Rebecca Greenspan, secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said on Wednesday that she was in contact with all sides to return to the negotiating table, although it was a “difficult” undertaking in part because of the recent bombing of grain infrastructure.

The Black Sea and Turkey Straits are the main route used by Ukraine and Russia – two of the world’s leading agricultural producers – to reach global markets.

Since the grain deal collapsed, boosting global grain prices and prompting UN food crisis concerns, Russia and Ukraine have said they would treat ships approaching each other’s ports as potential military vessels.

Aydin Sezer, a former Turkish diplomat and foreign policy analyst based in Ankara, said Russia’s raid on the Palau-flagged Sukru Okan technically took place in a war zone, given warnings from Moscow and Kiev about ships.

A Turkish defense ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Ankara was considering the raid in the Black Sea, but gave no further details. The vessel has since sailed into Romanian waters, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.

Russia, on the other hand, has not commented on a possible visit by Putin, although Turkey has repeatedly promoted it.