Turkish foreign minister Fidan meets Russian counterpart Lavrov in Russia

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan discussed "economic issues important for Turkey" and the war in Gaza with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, a Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters. Fidan would have a meeting with Russian President Putin as well.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan during their meeting on the sidelines of a BRICS meeting in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia June 11, 2024.


Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan raised "economic issues that are important for Turkey" with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on June 11 and they also discussed the war in Gaza, a Turkish diplomatic source said.

The source gave no details on the talks, which took place in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod where Fidan was attending a meeting of the BRICS group. Fidan said last week that Turkey, a NATO ally, may consider joining the group, which Moscow hopes will one day challenge U.S. domination of the global economy.

Fidan also met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Nizhny Novgorod, the diplomatic source told reporters. Fidan made his remarks about joining BRICS during a visit to Beijing, though Turkey has not formally applied to join.

Turkey has faced growing criticism from its Western allies over its burgeoning trade, tourism and energy ties with Russia. Ankara says it remains a committed member of NATO and still aspires to join the European Union, but has not joined in Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

The diplomatic source said Fidan would represent Turkey at a conference in Switzerland at the weekend on Ukraine. Ankara has voiced support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and given it military backing, while maintaining cordial ties with Moscow.

Turkey has previously said it will not become a haven for those circumventing the sanctions imposed on Russia and that it has taken compliance measures.

However, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last month the most concerning Russian sanctions evasion activity was coming via China, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. She said the Treasury aimed "to disrupt evasion wherever we see it, from Central Asia to the Caucasus and throughout Europe".

Fidan also held talks on Monday in Moscow with Sergei Shoigu, secretary of Russia's Security Council, Russian presidential aide Igor Levitin, and Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergei Naryshkin, the source said.

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet with Fidan on June 11 evening.