Europe ‘should be grateful’ to Turkey for uninterrupted Russian gas transit, says Putin - GulfToday

Europe ‘should be grateful’ to Turkey for uninterrupted Russian gas transit, says Putin


Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday he was hoping to sign an agreement aimed at strengthening trade and economic ties, 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 should have dominated 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 completely different page in Turkish-Russian relations," Erdogan said for his part.

The Russian president praised his Turkish counterpart for reaching a deal in the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments.

The deliveries have already started, I want to thank you both for this and for the fact that once an accompanying decision was made on the uninterrupted supply of Russian food and fertilizers to world markets," Putin said.

Putin said that Europe should be grateful to Turkey for uninterrupted supplies of Russian gas highlighting the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project.

Putin and Erdogan were supposed to have 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.

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