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Key takeaways from Sochi talks between Putin and Erdogan

Putin - Erdogan meeting 2023 news
© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev.

The two leaders have discussed the Ukraine crisis, the Black Sea grain deal and nuclear energy cooperation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hosted his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the resort city of Sochi for long-anticipated bilateral talks.

Monday’s discussions included a closed-door meeting between Russian and Turkish delegations, as well as direct negotiations between the leaders of the two countries. The talks revolved around various international and bilateral issues, with Russia’s president stating that the meetings were “quite productive.”

Fate of the Black Sea grain deal remains uncertain

Part of the discussion centered on the now-defunct UN and Turkish-facilitated Black Sea initiative, commonly known as the Ukrainian grain deal. Moscow terminated its participation in the scheme, which had enabled the flow of agricultural exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, citing a failure to meet any Russian demands.

The Russian “principled position” on the matter remains unchanged, Putin said during a joint press conference with Erdogan. Moscow is ready to “immediately” resume the deal once “all the agreements set out in that deal on lifting the restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural produce are fully implemented,” he added.

Erdogan expressed hope that the deal will be revived one way or another. He revealed that a “package of consultations with the UN” was in the works.

“The alternative proposals placed on the agenda did not meet expectations in terms of security and other aspects. Our Russian friends have made clear their expectations in this regard, and we emphasize these expectations at different platforms,” Türkiye’s leader stated.

Economic cooperation set to grow

Russia and Türkiye are set to continue work on various economic projects, including creation of a regional natural gas hub, the two leaders confirmed. The plans include “creating a joint working group, agreeing on a legal regulatory framework for hub activity, and developing the processes for the trade and transfer of imported gas,” the Russian president revealed.

“I want to emphasize that Russia has always been and will be a reliable, responsible gas supplier,” Putin said at the press briefing. “We will continue to provide the Turkish economy with this cheap but highly efficient and environmentally friendly fuel. Moreover, we are ready to export gas to third countries that are interested in it through Türkiye.”

Second nuclear power plant for Türkiye

The two countries are also planning to strengthen their cooperation in the nuclear energy field, with Moscow and Ankara now discussing potential construction of a new power plant in the Turkish Black Sea city of Sinop, Erdogan revealed.

“I especially want to mention the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant,” the Turkish president said. “As you know, its construction is underway. I would like to highlight the second step in this area: in Türkiye, in the city of Sinop, we discussed the construction of a second nuclear power plant with my dear friend. With this step, Türkiye will undoubtedly break new ground.”

Course for closer regional cooperation

The two presidents also discussed bilateral cooperation on various regional issues and conflicts, namely the situations in Libya, Syria, West Africa and the South Caucasus. According to Putin, such a “meeting to compare notes on the above and other regional issues was quite productive.”

Erdogan expressed confidence that continuous cooperation and “close contacts” between Moscow and Ankara will contribute to regional stability and global security alike. “We are developing bilateral relations based on the principles of neighborliness, friendship and sincerity, aiming to serve the interests of our countries and our region,” he said. “We have observed and continue to observe, and we see the benefits of Turkish-Russian relations built on this foundation in a wide space.”

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Source:RT News

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