Putin and Erdogan agree to strengthen economic and energy cooperation
The Kremlin said that after their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided on energy and economic cooperation on Friday. The two leaders agreed to “strengthen trade” between their countries and “meet mutual expectations in the field of economy and energy,” according to a joint statement by Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published by the Kremlin.
The crucial importance of “sincere and trusting relationships”
The two leaders in particular advocated the implementation of “concrete measures” to strengthen cooperation in the fields of transport, agriculture, industry and finance, as well as tourism, according to the same source. On the political side, they stressed “the crucial importance of sincere, frank and trusting relations between Russia and Turkey to ensure regional and international stability,” the statement said.
At the beginning of their meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi, the Kremlin master thanked the Turkish president for his efforts that made it possible to find an agreement between Moscow and Ukraine on deliveries of Ukrainian grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports. “Thanks to your direct participation and the mediation of the UN Secretariat, the problem related to the deliveries of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports has been resolved. Deliveries have already started, and I would like to thank you for that,” he said.
He also stressed Ankara’s role in the transit of Russian gas to Europe, via the TurkStream gas pipeline. “European partners should be grateful to Turkey because it ensures the uninterrupted transit of Russian gas,” Vladimir Putin said.
Gas deliveries partially paid in rubles
At the end of their meeting, the two presidents agreed that Russian gas deliveries to Turkey should be “partially paid for in rubles”, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told the press, welcoming a “new stage and new opportunities”. Russia has been seeking for months to impose its currency in international settlements against the euro and the dollar, against the background of unprecedented Western economic sanctions against Moscow due to the conflict in Ukraine.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already said on Friday that he hoped that his interview with Vladimir Putin would “open a very different page in Russian-Turkish relations”. The Turkish president had also said that he wanted to talk with his Russian counterpart about Syria, where Ankara is threatening to launch a military operation against Kurdish groups that he describes as “terrorists”, which Moscow opposes.
“Discussing developments in Syria on this occasion will help to calm the region. Our solidarity in the fight against terrorism is very important,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed. The Turkish head of state had also said that 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 “set schedule”, while a dispute risks causing delays in this mega-project.
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