Putin-Erdogan agreement to strengthen economic and energy cooperation

Putin-Erdogan agreement to strengthen economic and energy cooperation

MOSCOW | Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday agreed to strengthen energy and economic cooperation after their meeting in Sochi, Russia, on the Black Sea coast, the Kremlin said in a statement.

• Also read: Three new shipments of grain left Ukraine

The two leaders agreed to “strengthen” trade between their countries and “meet mutual expectations in the economy and energy sphere,” according to a joint statement by MM. Putin and Erdogan, published by the Kremlin.

In particular, they advocated the implementation of “concrete measures” to strengthen cooperation in the areas of transport, agriculture, industry and finance, and tourism, according to the same source.

On the political side, the two leaders stressed “the crucial importance of sincere, open and trusting relations between Russia and Turkey to ensure regional and international stability,” the statement said.

Putin-Erdogan agreement to strengthen economic and energy cooperation

At the beginning of their meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi, the Kremlin master thanked the Turkish President for his efforts, which would have made it possible to reach an agreement between Moscow and Ukraine on shipments of Ukrainian grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

“Thanks to your direct participation and the mediation of the UN Secretariat, the issue of Ukrainian grain supplies from the Black Sea ports has been solved. Deliveries have already started and I want to thank you for that,” he said.

He also underlined Ankara’s role in the transit of Russian gas to Europe via the TurkStream gas pipeline. “European partners should be grateful to Turkey for ensuring uninterrupted transit of Russian gas,” Putin said.

At the end of their meeting, the two presidents agreed that supplies of Russian gas to Turkey “should be partly paid for in rubles,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told the press, welcoming a “new phase and new opportunities.”

Against the background of unprecedented Western economic sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, Russia has been trying for months to assert its currency in international comparisons against the euro and the dollar.

Mr Erdogan had already said on Friday he hoped his meeting with Mr Putin would turn “a whole different page in relations” between Russia and Turkey.

The Turkish president also said he wanted to speak to his Russian counterpart about Syria, where Ankara is threatening to launch a military operation against Kurdish groups it describes as “terrorists,” which Moscow denies.

“Discussing developments in Syria on this occasion will help calm the region. Our solidarity in the fight against terrorism is very important,” Erdogan stressed.

Turkey’s leader also said he wants to ensure Russian nuclear giant Rosatom’s construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in southern Turkey sticks to “firm schedule”, while a legal battle is likely to delay the giant project.