NewsPutin to discuss Ukraine conflict, grain initiative in rare foreign visit to NATO's Turkey

Putin to discuss Ukraine conflict, grain initiative in rare foreign visit to NATO's Turkey

The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, will meet again with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of Turkey, on February 12.
The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, will meet again with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of Turkey, on February 12.
Images source: © PAP | Contributor#8523328
3:01 AM EST, February 7, 2024

This visit to Erdogan signifies Putin's first trip to a NATO member nation since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, reports Reuters. According to Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, the talks will encompass the Ukrainian war and the Black Sea grain initiative, which is officially set to end in 2023.

Ankara has tried convincing Russia to revisit the agreement it withdrew from in July 2023. Initially established by Turkey and the United Nations, this pact ensured the safe exportation of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea. Russia, however, isn't keen on its restoration.

Fidan communicated that Turkey is actively collaborating with Ukraine and Russia to rejuvenate the agreement. He underscored Ankara's valued and ongoing regular discourse with Moscow on various issues, ranging from energy to political divergences linked to regional conflicts in Syria, Libya, and the South Caucasus.

"We've continuously advocated for Ukraine's territorial integrity and will uphold this stance. Yet, the damaging consequences of war also have to end," Fidan expressed.

Putin embarks on his first visit to a NATO country since the Ukraine invasion

As a NATO member, Turkey shares maritime boundaries with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea. Turkey has endeavored to maintain amicable relations with both nations since the onset of the Moscow-Kiev conflict. They have supported Ukraine militarily and upheld its territorial integrity while concurrently resisting sanctions on Russia imposed by the EU and the US.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesperson, as quoted by the Russian agency TASS, proclaimed that the upcoming rendezvous between the Turkish and Russian leaders will cover specifics of trade relations with Turkey. Issues to be discussed include establishing a gas hub in Turkey and possible discounts on Russian gas.

Source: Reuters

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