Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on Wednesday in Sochi. The main topic of the talks between the presidents of Russia and Turkey was the situation in Syria, in which the countries have different interests. Russia is the government’s main ally in Damascus, while Turkey supports groups that fought to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The situation in Syria was the main topic of the meeting between Russian presidents Vladimir Putin and Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which took place on Wednesday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. There was also talk of selling another batch of S-400 anti-missile systems to Turkey.
After the meeting, none of the leaders organized a press conference. Putin merely thanked Erdogan for coming and stated that the talks were “very useful and substantive”. In turn, Erdogan on Twitter described the meeting as “productive”.
The situation in Syria was the subject of Putin’s talks with Erdogan in Sochi
According to the Syrian Human Rights Observatory, both presidents discussed the situation in northern Syria, where 11 pro-Turkish fighters were killed in Russian air strikes on Sunday.
According to Reuters, Erdogan said during the meeting that “the steps we are taking together on Syria are of great importance. Peace there depends on Turkish-Russian ties.” In turn, the Russian leader said that “negotiations with Turkey were difficult at times, but both countries have learned how to find mutually beneficial compromises.” The two countries in Syria have different interests and stand on opposite sides in the war that has shaken the country for a decade. Russia is the government’s main ally in Damascus, while Turkey supports groups that fought to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Putin and Erdogan talked about purchasing the S-400 anti-missile defense systems
However, Russian and Turkish troops collaborated in the Idlib region, the last bastion of rebel forces, and in the search for a political solution. The result was the ceasefire agreed last year, halting attacks by the Russian and Syrian armies on Turkish-backed militants in Idlib. The agenda of the Wednesday meeting in Sochi also included an item concerning Turkey’s purchase of more Russian anti-missile defense systems The S-400s, which have been a bone of contention between Ankara and Washington for months.
In 2019, Turkey bought the first batteries of this weapon, which caused the US to stop selling F-35 fighters to Turkey and imposed sanctions on top officials of the Turkish defense industry.
Main photo source: VLADIMIR SMIRNOV / PAP / EPA