LAST UPDATE: 17.27
European nations should thank Turkey that they can still import Russian gas through the TurkStream pipeline, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, shortly before his meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan.
The statements were made from Sochi, a Russian resort on the Black Sea, which is hosting the meeting of the two leaders.
Putin and Erdogan met three weeks ago, during the tripartite Russia-Turkey-Iran summit in Tehran.
The See Putin also said he hopes to sign an agreement to strengthen economic cooperation with Turkey.
“I hope that today we will be able to sign a memorandum to strengthen our economic and trade ties,” Putin said at the start of the meeting with Erdogan, which was broadcast on Russian television.
The Russian president thanked the Turkish president for his efforts that made it possible to find an agreement between Moscow and Kiev on the export of Ukrainian grain from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
“Thanks to your immediate involvement and the mediation of the UN Secretariat, the problem related to deliveries of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports has been resolved. The deliveries have already started and I would like to thank you for that,” he said.
Erdogan: Productive talks
Erdogan said for his part that the talks between the delegations of his country and Russia in Sochi had been “particularly productive” and that he and Vladimir Putin would then discuss the developments in Syria.
“Discussing the developments in Syria on this occasion will help calm the region. Our solidarity in the fight against terrorism is very important,” the Turkish president said.
Sitting across from Putin shortly before their talks, the Turkish head of state said, according to Reuters, that it is important that the nuclear power plant in Akuyu in southern Turkey, which is being built by a Russian company, be completed on schedule.