Erdoğan and Putin vow to deepen economic ties

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have met in Russian city of Sochi to discuss bilateral ties and international issues. The two leaders agreed to switch part of the payments for Russian gas to roubles.

Reuters - Anadolu Agency

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan agreed on Aug. 5 to boost cooperation in the transport, agriculture, finance and construction industries, they said in a joint statement after a four-hour meeting.

Turkey mediated a deal signed by Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations in Istanbul last month under which grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports resumed after months of being blocked.

In the statement, Putin and Erdoğan stressed the need for "the full implementation of the Istanbul agreement, including the unimpeded export of Russia's grain, fertiliser and raw materials for their production."

The two leaders also agreed to switch part of the payments for Russian gas to roubles, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told reporters after the talks.

The two also "reaffirmed their determination to act in coordination and solidarity in the fight against all terrorist organizations" in Syria.

Ankara has carried out multiple operations in northern Syria since 2016, seizing hundreds of kilometres of land and targeting the Kurdish YPG militia, despite opposition from Moscow.

During the talks, Erdoğan and Putin agreed to boost the bilateral trade volume and to take concrete steps to strengthen cooperation in the areas of energy, trade, and the economy.

The leaders also stressed their strong commitment to Libya's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national unity. According to the statement, they highlighted the importance of holding free, fair and credible elections among Libyans, and reiterated their support for the Libyan-led political process under UN auspices.

After the talks in Sochi, Erdoğan and Putin agreed to hold the next meeting of the Turkish-Russian High-Level Cooperation Council in Turkey.