Putin to meet leaders of Iran and Turkey – Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Tehran on July 19 for talks with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
Putin will attend a trilateral meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under the so-called ‘Astana peace process.’ The format was launched in early 2017 with the aim of putting an end to the 11-year-long conflict in Syria.
“In addition to the trilateral meeting, there will also be bilateral meetings,” Peskov said.
Putin and Erdogan held a phone call on Monday during which they discussed economic and trade cooperation, the use of national currencies in transactions and Russian energy supplies. The two leaders also exchanged opinions on the situation around Ukraine, “including in the context of coordinating efforts to ensure the safety of navigation in the Black Sea and grain exports to world markets,” the readout of the conversation published on the Kremlin website says.
According to the Turkish president’s Directorate of Communications, meanwhile, Erdogan told his Russian colleague that “it was time for the United Nations to take action for the plan regarding the formation of secure corridors via the Black Sea for the grain export.”
Kiev and Western nations have accused Russia of blocking food exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, which they maintain has contributed to the surge in global food prices. Moscow denies the allegation, saying it has been offering safe passage to freighters, whereas Ukraine is preventing civilian ships from leaving the ports. Russia also says Kiev’s deployment of sea mines has created a threat to shipping in the area.
The key topic of the talks between Putin and Raisi will be “planning for the development of economic cooperation between Iran and Russia,” according to Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s Economic Commission.
He hailed the results of Raisi's January visit to Russia, saying that it marked “a new chapter of economic relations” between the two countries. The commission chairman also claimed that Russia needs economic cooperation with Iran “more and more” amid the sanctions imposed on it by Western countries.