President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have met on the sideline of a regional summit in Kazakhstan.
Erdogan and Putin met behind closed doors following the sixth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Astana.
Addressing the summit, Erdogan said Türkiye’s aim is to stop bloodshed in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war as soon as possible despite hurdles.
Since the beginning of the war, Türkiye has maintained close contact with both Russia and Ukraine. Erdogan has often stated his desire to bring Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the table in Turkey to resolve the war.
Putin proposed on Thursday to his Turkish counterpart to create a “gas hub” in Turkey to export gas to Europe, at a time when Russian deliveries to the EU are affected by sanctions and leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline.
His hasty attempts to win back the support of former allies and neighbors also come after a UN resolution denouncing Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s occupied areas increased the country’s isolation from the rest of the world. On Thursday, the Council of Europe also passed a resolution designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
President Erdogan defended Turkey’s continuing trade relations with Russia, highlighting the deal Ankara negotiated in July to allow Ukraine to export grain blockaded in Black Sea ports.