For the second time in a few weeks, Turkish President Erdogan has met with Vladimir Putin for talks. Although Turkey is a NATO country and condemns the war in Ukraine, Erdogan has not joined the sanctions against Russia, he is even said to be willing to sell weapons to Russia. At the same time, Turkey is equipping Ukraine with drones. Putin and Erdogan certainly have opposing interests, but can still talk constructively with each other – now they want to work more closely together on economics and energy.
According to the Kremlin, the two heads of state, who rule their countries autocratically, have agreed to strengthen cooperation on economic and energy issues. According to the Russian presidential office, during their meeting in Sochi on the Black Sea, the two agreed to increase trade between the two countries “despite the current regional and global challenges”. Turkey will therefore pay part of the gas supplies in rubles in the future.
Erdogan and Putin last met in Tehran in mid-July. Three days later, Moscow, Kiev, Ankara and the UN signed an agreement to allow Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea again. At the start of the visit, Putin thanked Erdogan on Friday for concluding the agreement on Ukrainian grain deliveries.
Grain block lifted
Last Monday, the first ship loaded with maize left the port of Odessa. According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, three more cargo ships carrying grain from Ukraine started operations on Friday. Because of the war, all Ukraine’s grain exports from the ports on the Black Sea have been blocked in recent months, contributing to a global food crisis.