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Putin and Erdogan in Sochi – what the two leaders discussed and agreed


The Russian and Turkish presidents adopted a joint statement covering issues ranging from grain exports to the fight against terrorism

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Sochi in southern Russia on Friday. The two leaders spent more than four hours discussing a wide range of issues, ranging from grain exports to bilateral trade and counter-terrorism efforts. RT lays out the main points of the talks.

1. The Istanbul Grain Agreement must be fully respected

Both Putin and Erdogan praised the role played by each other’s countries in reaching an agreement on the export of Ukrainian agricultural products in July. Turkey and the UN have helped Moscow and Kyiv broker a deal allowing maritime traffic to resume from Black Sea ports after it halted amid Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

The two leaders agreed that the agreement should be“fully implemented”at a time“spirit and letter”,said a joint statement adopted by Putin and Erdogan. The unhindered export of Russian grain, as well as fertilizers and raw materials needed for its production, should also be facilitated.

The UN has specifically pledged to work on removing barriers to Russian grain and fertilizer exports. On Friday, Moscow said restrictions imposed by the United States and its allies were still disrupting its grain harvest and could worsen the global food crisis.

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2. Stimulation of trade and energy cooperation

The two presidents discussed an extensive bilateral agenda as they pledged to further cooperate in trade, transport, agriculture, finance, tourism and construction. Moscow and Ankara have agreed to“meet halfway”regarding each party’s needs in the trade and energy sectors, the joint statement said.

Putin welcomed the fact that trade volumes between the two nations increased by 57% last year and doubled in the first five months of 2022. He also noted that Russia supplies Turkey with all types of energy resources, including oil, gas and coal in a stable. and predictable,“without any interruption.” 

Russia and Turkey also agreed on a new payment mechanism that will require Ankara to pay for some of the Russian gas it buys in rubles, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak told reporters after the meeting. “It’s a really new step; new opportunities, including for the further development of our financial relations”, he said.

Erdogan hailed Russia’s role in building Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, adding that the project is“Very important”for the national economy and should cover 10% of Turkey’s energy needs. The plant, which is built to a Russian design, is expected to enter service in 2023.

3. Regional stability and the fight against terrorism

The Turkish president also said that Russia was playing a“special role”on the international scene and particularly in the fight against terrorism.“Solidarity”between Moscow and Ankara is essential to safeguard peace and stability in the Middle East, he added.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during a meeting in Sochi.  © Sputnik / Vyacheslav Prokofiev
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In the joint statement, Putin and Erdogan reaffirmed their commitment to the political process in Syria. Both parties agreed that it was important to maintain the“political unity and territorial integrity”of this Middle Eastern nation, the document says. Moscow and Ankara have confirmed their desire to“to act together in full coordination”fight any terrorist organization.

The presidents also discussed the situation in Libya, agreeing that Libyans themselves should play a key role in the political evolution of their country. Russia and Turkey have said they support the“sovereignty, territorial integrity and political unity”from Libya.

The two leaders also agreed to further develop bilateral relations on the basis of“mutual respect”and in full compliance with the other’s international obligations despite“current regional and global challenges”.

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