Erdogan and Putin to meet in Sochi for second time in a month
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be the first NATO leader to visit Russia on Friday since the war in Ukraine erupted on February 27.
“The fact that it’s Erdogan who is going to Sochi means it’s Turkey that wants something from Russia,” said Daria Isachenko, an expert on Turkey and Russia at the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“Erdogan will seek permission to carry out an offensive in Syria and discuss possible details, such as the area and how large it will be,” he said.
Ankara says mainly Kurdish SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), which contrals areas in northern Syria is an affiliation of PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), an armed group fighting Turkish state for four decades and designated as a terrorist organization by the US and the EU, and wants to push them further south, to create what it says a 30 km deep safe zone along its borders.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, Turkey has pursued a policy of balance between the West and the Kremlin administration, limiting Russian ships’ access to the Black Sea, but excluding itself from the economic sanctions, since Turkey relies heavily on Russia as a source of energy, tourism, and trade.
On Wednesday, The Turkish Energy Ministry said it was seeking to resolve a dispute between the parties involved in the construction of a $20 billion nuclear power plant by Russia's Rosatom at Akkuyu in southern Turkey.
Turkish construction company IC Ictas said on Monday it had launched a legal challenge to the termination of the deal by Akkuyu Nukleer, a subsidiary of Russia’s Rosatom.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the President of Russia, reported that Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, are planning to discuss military and technical cooperation at their meeting in Sochi.
"Military and technical cooperation between the two countries is always on the agenda. The very fact that our cooperation is developing in such a sensitive environment shows that our relations are on a very high level," he said according to Ria-Novosti, a Russian Kremlin-aligned news agency.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin wanted to set up a production facility of Turkish made Bayraktar drones in Russia, President Tayyip Erdogan said in a top meeting with his party officials, according to reports from Turkish media.