Putin tells Erdogan he hopes for deal to boost economic cooperation
President Vladimir Putin told Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday that he hoped to sign an agreement to strengthen trade and economic relations, as Russia’s isolation increases following its intervention in Ukraine.
Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine and the possible launch of a new operation in Syria were expected to dominate the talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“I hope that today we can sign a relevant memorandum on the development of our trade and economic relations,” Putin said.
“I think (today’s meeting) will open a whole new page in Turkish-Russian relations,” Erdogan said for his part.
Putin also thanked Erdogan for helping orchestrate the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments.
“Deliveries have already started, I want to thank you both for this and for the fact that at the same time an accompanying decision was made on the uninterrupted supply of Russian food and fertilizers to world markets “, Putin said.
The Russian leader also hailed the TurkStream gas pipeline project, saying Europe should be grateful to Turkey for its uninterrupted supply of Russian gas.
Putin and Erdogan were to hold talks and a working lunch, but no joint press conference.
Putin and Erdogan last met at a three-party summit in Iran in July.
At the time, Putin told Erdogan that Russia remained opposed to any new offensive Turkey might plan against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.