This is the first time that the leader of a NATO country has visited Russia since the country began its invasion of Ukraine at the end of February. Paul Levin believes that the reason for Putin and Erdogan meeting now is the recently signed grain agreement, in which Turkey acted as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine.
– They say we should talk about this more. He adds that there are also other issues Erdogan wants to address, including the fact that Turkey wants to carry out another military operation in northern Syria, which is why it needs Russia’s approval.
The issue of energy can also be discussed
Although it is difficult to say what Putin and Erdogan will talk about, Paul Levin believes the energy issue may be up for debate. Turkey depends on Russian natural gas and earlier this year the supply was supposed to stop.
Turkey gets about half of its natural gas needs from Russia, which has created major problems in Turkey, which is going through a deep economic crisis. That’s another topic you think they’ll talk about.
Another issue that may arise, which he describes as a “wild card”, is that Russia will reportedly order Turkish drones.
– It would be very amazing if it came out, he says.
Strong relations despite Erdogan’s condemnation
President Erdogan has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, yet the two countries have relatively strong relations with each other. According to Paul T. Levine, their relationship is complex.
Turkey is trying to strike a difficult balance that has been skillfully maneuvered.
While Turkey, as a NATO country, condemned the invasion and supplied arms to Ukraine, it did not accept European and American sanctions. For example, Turkey allows air traffic from Russia and Russian oligarchs are allowed to park their luxury yachts in Turkish ports.
– With this, Turkey tried to position itself as a third party that could be a mediator. Says Paul T.
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