Reuters - Anadolu Agency
Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 27 as a "strong leader" who always defended Turkey's interests.
Putin said Erdoğan was not always an "easy partner" to deal with, but that Turkey was always "reliable" and had a desire to reach agreements. "Many decisions are born in long and difficult discussions and negotiations. But there is a desire on both sides to reach these agreements. And we, as a rule, reach these agreements," Putin said during a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow.
Putin called Erdoğan "a strong, firm leader who is guided by the interests of Turkey, the Turkish people, and the Turkish economy."
This includes Turkey's position in energy sector, building TurkStream gas pipeline and a gas hub, as well as in tourism and agriculture, the Russian leader added. Erdoğan never allows anyone to manipulate him or make decisions in interest of the third countries, he further said.
Erdoğan has played a vital role as a go-between for Kyiv and Moscow since the start of the conflict, brokering the Black Sea grain deal and assisting in a number of prisoner exchangers - the only diplomatic breakthroughs to date in the eight-month conflict.