President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have been assembly on Friday in the southern Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, for a second face-to-face dialog in lower than three weeks in opposition to a fancy backdrop of dovetailing and competing pursuits.
Aides to the leaders portrayed the talks in Sochi as a continuation of their discussions in Iran on July 19 — a few of which included Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme chief — masking points like drones, grain shipments, vitality and Syria.
Mr. Erdogan has emerged as an essential mediator between Ukraine and Russia, which is probing for methods to interrupt out of the financial and political isolation imposed by the West over its invasion of Ukraine. Turkey, a NATO member and long-frustrated E.U. applicant, proved instrumental in forging an settlement between the 2 warring international locations to restart Ukrainian grain shipments by way of the Black Sea urgently.
In transient remarks to the cameras earlier than the leaders’ dialogue started, Mr. Putin thanked Mr. Erdogan for Turkey’s function in mediating a deal to export Ukrainian grain that additionally allowed for shipments of Russian meals and fertilizer exports. There was a heavy emphasis on financial issues, with Mr. Putin expressing hope that the talks would convey enhanced commerce and financial ties.
On Syria, Mr. Putin mentioned the 2 would focus on “security issues in the region, primarily the Syrian crisis,” selecting to emphasise efforts to normalize the scenario there relatively than specializing in their sharp divisions. Turkey has lengthy threatened an incursion in opposition to Kurdish teams alongside the border, however needs to take action with out risking an armed conflict with Russia of the sort that frayed relations in 2015 after the Turks shot down a Russian fighter.
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Mr. Erdogan, whereas broaching most of the similar themes, mentioned that the steps taken on points like vitality, grain, the Black Sea and transportation have been examples of the essential function that Turkey and Russia play in the area.
Mr. Erdogan is treading a effective line to retain the power to speak to each Russia, NATO’s foe, and to Western members of the alliance. Turkey has held to its refusal to affix Western sanctions in opposition to Russia, irking its NATO allies, however Mr. Erdogan additionally, in an important transfer, eased his preliminary objections to Sweden’s and Finland’s becoming a member of the alliance as a bulwark in opposition to Russian aggression.
Russia is a essential provider of vitality to Turkey, offering 1 / 4 of the nation’s crude imports and virtually half of its pure gasoline purchases final yr. Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear company, is constructing a nuclear energy plant on the Mediterranean projected to offer 10 % of Turkey’s vitality wants after its scheduled completion in 2026.
For its half, Turkey is changing into an essential transshipment level for items headed to Russia now that many Western freight corporations now not deal with Russia-bound shipments for worry of defying sanctions, the Turkish newspaper Dunya reported on Thursday. The nation additionally stays a preferred vacation spot for Russian vacationers.
However, stark variations stay between the 2 leaders. Their international locations have backed opposing sides in the civil warfare in Syria, Turkey’s neighbor. The Kremlin has expended blood and treasure to shore up President Bashar al-Assad, whereas Turkey, which has absorbed greater than 3.7 million Syrian warfare refugees, helps an opposing insurgent faction and is threatening a brand new army offensive in Syria’s north. They have additionally been concerned on opposing sides in the violently flaring border dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Their relations relating to weapons are additionally advanced. In current years, Turkey defied its NATO companions to purchase Russian antiaircraft missiles. And now, Russia — starved by war-related Western sanctions for expertise like steerage techniques for missiles and drones — is urgently searching for matériel.
“Military-technical cooperation between the two countries is permanently on the agenda, and the very fact that our interaction is developing in this sensitive sphere shows that, on the whole, the entire range of our interrelations is at a very high level,” Dmitri S. Peskov, Russia’s presidential press secretary, advised reporters on Wednesday, in keeping with the Interfax information company.
Safak Timur contributed reporting.