Putin's and Erdogan's "Great Solidarity" in Ankara
Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Thursday. This was the fifth meeting of the two Presidents this year. The narrow format was followed by an extended meeting, attended by Foreign Ministers, energy ministers, ambassadors, Gazprom and Rosatom leaders and other representatives of the sides. During the two-hour talks, the sides discussed issues related to bilateral relations and regional policy. In particular, the situation in Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan's independence referendum, economic cooperation between the two countries, energy projects, as well as the flow of tourists were discussed.
"Despite the difficulties, we have managed to reach a positive result," the Russian President said after the talks, noting that during the talks they confirmed the agreement on the de-escalation zones in Syria reached previously. "I consider these agreements our common, extremely important success. Necessary conditions have been created for putting an end to the fratricidal war in Syria, completely destroying terrorists and allowing Syrians to return to peaceful life," Putin said.
The Presidents of Russia and Turkey stressed the need to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria. As for the Kurdish independence referendum, Erdogan said once again that it has no legitimacy. "Northern Iraqi authorities have made a big mistake. No one has the right to turn our region into a hot spot," Erdogan said.
Putin and Erdogan, touching upon the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, noticed dynamic progress in this area.
"During the discussion of the cooperation in the trade and economic sphere, we have recorded a noticeable increase in the bilateral commodity turnover. If we had a 32% decline last year, in the first half of this year we have completely recovered the lost positions, and the rest of the year will come out with a positive result," Putin said. According to the Russian president, the number of Russian tourists in Turkey has also increased by about 11 times and reached 2.5 million people.
As we have already mentioned, the parties discussed joint energy projects - the Akkuyu NPP and the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which started in June of this year.
Putin said that Moscow expects the unit one of Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear power plant to be launched within a shorter timeframe.
In general, the sides assessed the negotiations as quite pragmatic and constructive. It should be noted that this effective meeting of the presidents of Russia and Turkey took place against the backdrop of tense relations with the West.
Western experts note that this meeting and the agreements reached as a result of these talks speak about serious problems between the West and Ankara. Although the sides did not discuss the military cooperation and, in particular, the sale of Russian S-400 to Turkey, some analysts call this meeting Erdogan's message to the western partners about an alternative to NATO.
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