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Russia and Turkey promise closer political and economic cooperation

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President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday adopted a declaration pledging to strengthen political and economic cooperation, particularly in the areas of energy and trade.

The talks between Putin and Erdogan have come as Russia’s isolation grows over its intervention in Ukraine.

“Despite the current regional and global challenges, the leaders reaffirmed their common will to further develop Russian-Turkish relations,” the Kremlin said in a statement after the four-hour talks in the resort town of Sochi, on the black Sea.

Putin and Erdogan agreed to step up trade and strengthen economic and energy cooperation with a focus on transport, agriculture, tourism and construction.

According to the press release, the two leaders agreed “to meet the expectations of the opposing party in the areas of the economy and energy”.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, speaking in televised remarks, called the deals “very important”, with ties aimed at reaching “a new level of development” in “virtually all sectors”.

Putin and Erdogan also stressed the importance of “sincere, frank and trusting relations” to achieve regional and global stability, the Kremlin said.

Although Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine was not explicitly mentioned in the statement, the leaders highlighted the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments, stressing the two countries’ “constructive relations” which they say have made the possible agreement.

The statement also makes no direct mention of any new offensive Turkey may be planning against Kurdish militants in Syria.

The two leaders promised closer cooperation between the sectors.  Photo: AFPThe two leaders promised closer cooperation between the sectors. Photo: AFP

“The parties have confirmed that they attach great importance to advancing the political process” in Syria, the statement said.

“The determination to act jointly and in close coordination with each other in the fight against all terrorist organizations has been reaffirmed.”

At the start of the talks, Putin also praised the TurkStream gas pipeline project, saying Europe should be grateful to Turkey for its uninterrupted supply of Russian gas.

“I think (today’s meeting) will open a whole new page in Turkish-Russian relations,” Erdogan said.

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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