Putin tells Erdogan hopes for deal to boost economic cooperation

AFP , Friday 5 Aug 2022

President Vladimir Putin told Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday he was hoping to sign an agreement to boost trade and economic ties, as Russia's isolation grows following its intervention in Ukraine.

Putin   Erdogan
Russia s President Vladimir Putin (R) meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) in Sochi on August 5, 2022. AFP


Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine and the possible launch of a new operation in Syria were expected to dominate the talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

"I hope that today we will be able to sign a relevant memorandum on the development of our trade and economic ties," Putin said.

"I believe that (today's meeting) will open a whole different page in Turkish-Russian relations," Erdogan said for his part.

Putin also thanked Erdogan for helping orchestrate the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments.

"Deliveries have already begun, I want to thank you both for this and for the fact that at the same time an accompanying decision was made on uninterrupted supplies of Russian food and fertilisers to world markets," Putin said.

The Russian leader also praised the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project, saying Europe should be grateful to Turkey for uninterrupted supplies of Russian gas.

Speaking at the start of the meeting at Putin's Black Sea residence in Sochi, Erdogan said their negotiations would help ``put forward the role that Turkey and Russia play in the region.'' He cast the talks as pivotal, saying they were being watched closely by the rest of the world.

Putin and Erdogan were expected to hold talks and a working lunch but no joint press conference.

Putin and Erdogan last met for a three-way summit in Iran in July.

At the time Putin told Erdogan that Russia remained opposed to any new offensive that Turkey might be planning against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

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