President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Vladimir Putin of Russia were meeting in Sochi, Russia on Friday, according to a photo released by the Turkish Presidential Press Service.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on Friday in the southern Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi for a second face-to- face conversation in less than three weeks against a complex backdrop of dovetailing and competing interests. Before the meeting, aides to the leaders portrayed the talks as a continuation of their discussions in Iran on July 19, some of which included Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, covering issues like drones, grain shipments, energy and Syria. Erdogan has emerged as an important mediator between Ukraine and Russia, which is looking for ways to break out of the economic and political isolation imposed by the West over its invasion of Ukraine. The applicant was instrumental in achieving an agreement between the two countries to restart Ukrainian grain shipments through the Black Sea.
In brief remarks to the cameras before the leaders' discussion began, Mr. Putin thanked Mr. Erdogan for Turkey s role in mediating a deal to export Ukrainian grain that allowed for shipments of Russian food and fertilizer exports. There was a lot of emphasis on economic matters with Mr. Putin expressing hope that the talks would bring enhanced trade and economic ties.
There are still a lot of differences between the two leaders. Their countries backed opposing sides in the civil war in Syria, Turkey s neighbor. The Kremlin has expended blood and treasure to shore up President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey, which has absorbed more than 3.7 million Syrian war refugees, supports an opposing rebel faction and is threatening a new military offensive in Syria s north. They have also been involved in opposing sides in the violent border dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Their relations with weapons are also complex. In recent years, Turkey has defied NATO partners to buy Russian antiaircraft missiles. Russia is urgently seeking mat riel after being harmed by Western sanctions for technology like guidance systems for missiles and drones. Military-technical cooperation between the two countries is permanently on the agenda, and the fact that our interaction is developing in this sensitive sphere shows that the whole range of our interrelations is at a very high level, Dmitri S. Peskov, Russia's presidential press secretary, told reporters on Wednesday.