Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided today to strengthen energy and economic cooperation at the end of their meeting in Sochi (Russia), on the shores of the Black Sea, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The two leaders agreed to “strengthen trade exchanges” between their countries and “meet mutual expectations in the fields of economy and energy,” according to a joint statement released by the Kremlin.
Putin and Erdogan mainly supported the introduction of “concrete measures” to strengthen cooperation in the fields of transport, agriculture, industry and finance, as well as tourism, according to the same source.
On the political side, the two leaders stressed “the crucial importance of relations of sincerity and trust between Russia and Turkey to ensure regional and international stability,” the statement said.
At the start of their meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi, the head of the Kremlin thanked the Turkish president for his efforts that made it possible to find an agreement between Moscow and Ukraine regarding deliveries of Ukrainian grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports .
“Thanks to your immediate participation and the mediation of the UN secretariat, the problem related to the deliveries of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports has been resolved. The deliveries have already started and I would like to thank you for that,” he said.
He also highlighted Ankara’s role in transiting Russian gas to Europe through the TurkStream gas pipeline. “European partners should be grateful to Turkey because it ensures the uninterrupted transit of Russian natural gas,” Putin said.
At the end of their meeting, the two presidents agreed that Russian gas deliveries to Turkey should be “partially paid for in rubles,” Russian Vice President Alexander Novak told reporters, hailing a “new stage and new opportunities.”
Russia has sought for months to force its currency into international settlements against the euro and dollar, amid unprecedented Western economic sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.
Erdogan said earlier today that he hoped his meeting with Putin would “open a very different page in relations” between Russia and Turkey.
The Turkish president had also said he wanted to talk to his Russian counterpart about Syria, where Ankara is threatening to launch a military operation against Kurdish groups it calls “terrorists”, something Moscow opposes. “Discussion on this occasion about developments in Syria will allow for calm in the region. Our solidarity in the fight against terrorism is very important,” underlined Erdogan.
The Turkish head of state had also said he wanted to ensure Russian nuclear giant Rosatom’s construction of the Akuyu nuclear power plant in southern Turkey kept to the “fixed schedule” as a dispute is likely to delay the project. .