On October 24, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation, citing the Turkish Presidency, Azernews reports.
The heads of state discussed issues of mutual interest.
In March, Turkiye hosted a round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators, who discussed a possible deal to end the hostilities. The talks fell apart after the meeting in Istanbul, with Russia and Ukraine blaming each other for the lack of progress.
Last month, Turkiye and the United Nations helped broker agreements between Russia and Ukraine to clear the way for Ukraine to export 22 million tons of agricultural products stuck in its Black Sea ports since Moscow sent troops into the country more than five months ago. The deals also allow Russia to export grain and fertilizer. Three more ships carrying thousands of tons of corn left Ukrainian ports on October 24.
Erdogan and Putin have a complex relationship. While the two countries support opposing sides in Syria and Libya, they cooperate closely on defense, energy, and trade deals. Their relationship has frustrated Turkiye’s Western allies, who were particularly annoyed by Ankara’s purchase of a sophisticated Russian air defense system.
In a statement issued after the talks that lasted four hours, Putin and Erdogan emphasized “the necessity of a complete fulfillment of the package deal reached in Istanbul … including unhindered export of Russian grain and fertilizers.” They also noted the “key importance of sincere, frank and trusting ties between Russia and Turkiye for regional and global stability.”
The Russian leader noted the agreement’s importance for many countries around the world that depend on Russian and Ukrainian exports to feed their people and to grow their own crops. “It’s an acute issue for many developing countries, which face major problems with food and fertilizers,” he said.
Erdogan’s visit to Sochi underlined the importance of close ties with Russia for Turkiye. Putin hailed the energy cooperation between Russia and Turkiye, noting the importance of the TurkStream pipeline that delivers Russian gas to Turkiye and southern Europe via the Black Sea.