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Putin and Erdogan discuss Ukraine, Syria 

January 17, 2023 at 10:55 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (R) on September 16, 2022 [Murat Kula/Anadolu Agenc]

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed issues related to Ukraine and Syria with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone call on Monday, the Kremlin has reported.

Putin is said to have criticised the “destructive” policies of the regime in Kyiv “which relies on the intensification of hostilities with the support of Western sponsors increasing the volume of weapons and military equipment being transferred to Ukraine.”

The two presidents also discussed the exchange of prisoners, “primarily the wounded”, as well as steps to mill Russian grain into flour in Turkiye before shipping it to Africa. Grain shortages as a result of the war in Ukraine affect millions of people across the continent.

Regarding Syria, Putin and Erdogan discussed the normalisation of Turkish-Syrian relations, but gave no further details.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the comprehensive development of Russian-Turkish cooperation, mainly in the energy sector. This includes the supply of Russian natural gas and the creation of a regional gas hub in Turkiye.

In a statement from the Turkish presidency in Ankara, it was revealed that Erdogan stressed during the call with Putin that his country is “ready to act as a mediator for a lasting peace between Russia and Ukraine.”

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