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Erdogan in Sochi to “not give up on Russia”, Putin wants more economic cooperation

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On the occasion of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Sochi, in southern Russia, his counterpart Vladimir Putin made a point of stressing his desire to strengthen economic agreements between the two countries. In recent months, the two men have increased their exchanges against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, in which the Turkish head of state has imposed himself as a mediator between Moscow and kyiv.

This is the second time in less than three weeks that the two heads of state have met, which Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls ” don’t give up on russia ” and ” keep the channels of dialogue constantly open “. Satisfied with the successful implementation of the grain agreement negotiated by Turkey and the UN between Russia and Ukraine, the Turkish President is applying these precepts by meeting Vladimir Putin this Friday, August 5.

A first Ukrainian corn ship passed safely through Istanbul Wednesday after crossing the Black Sea, recalls our correspondent in Istanbul Anne Andlauer. President Erdogan hopes that this first diplomatic success will allow other advances under Turkish mediation between the two belligerents and intends to discuss it with Vladimir Putin.

Efforts hailed by the Russian president: “ Thanks to your direct participation and the mediation of the UN Secretariat, the problem related to Ukrainian grain deliveries from the Black Sea ports has been resolved. Deliveries have already started, and I would like to thank you “, he says.

Economic cooperation and security issues

At the start of the meeting, which was broadcast on Russian television, Vladimir Putin declared that he hoped to sign a “ memorandum on strengthening our economic and trade ties “. He also underlined the role of Ankara in the transit of Russian gas to Europe, via the TurkStream gas pipeline. ” European partners should be grateful to Turkey for ensuring the uninterrupted transit of Russian gas “, he assures.

For his part, Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he hopes that his interview with Vladimir Putin will ” open a very different page in relationships “Russian-Turkish, adding that delegations from both countries had discussions” very productive », in particular on trade and tourism. In addition, the Turkish head of state had previously said he wanted to ensure that the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant by the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, in southern Turkey, would respect the “ fixed schedule », while a dispute risks causing delays in this mega-project.

With this meeting, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also recalls his plan for a new offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, which he describes as ” terrorists “, for which he has so far failed to convince Russia, the first ally of the Syrian regime. ” Discussing developments in Syria on this occasion will help calm the region. Our solidarity in the fight against terrorism is very important “, underlines Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

► To read again: Turkey plans fourth operation in Syria

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