Turkey wants to open ‘new page’ in ties with Russia
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he expected fruitful talks as he arrived at the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Friday to meet Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin.
“I believe that our negotiations will open a new page in relations between the two countries,” Erdogan said.
“I’m talking about energy cooperation, the export of [Ukrainian] grain via the Black Sea, tourism and regional issues,” he added.
The situation in Syria was slated to be among the main topics on the agenda, given that “the battle against terrorism in the region is important for us,” the Turkish president said.
The issues he plans to discuss with Putin are of prime importance, and because of this “the whole world today is following the talks in Sochi,” Erdogan insisted.
The Russian president thanked his Turkish counterpart for the role he played in the Ankara- and UN-brokered deal to facilitate the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments through Black Sea ports.
As part of the agreement, which was signed in Istanbul in late July, the UN also promised to work towards removing obstacles to the export of Russian grain, food and fertilizers created by international sanctions against Moscow.
“Those deliveries have already started,” Putin pointed out, adding that the deal was “very important” for developing nations, who rely on foreign grain to feed their populations.
The Russian leader also said he was expecting to sign a memorandum on the development of trade and economic relations between Russia and Turkey during his talks with Erdogan.
Despite being a NATO member, Turkey continued cooperation with Russia after the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in late February. Ankara condemned the use of force by Russia but refused to join the international sanctions against Moscow.