Erdogan failed to convince putin, but called the criminal a friend: why did the Turkish president go to Sochi?
The previous talks between the two presidents ended without any visible progress. Find out more about how the meeting went, why Erdogan was satisfied with the trip despite the lack of ready-made solutions, and what Ukraine can expect in the near future
On September 4, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Sochi for bilateral talks with russian war criminal and dictator vladimir putin. During a joint press conference prior to the talks, the russian president said that "they have a lot to talk about in terms of security in the region." In addition, the dictator said that they would not ignore the issues related to the "Ukrainian crisis."
The Turkish President, in turn, said that after the closed-door talks, a "very important" announcement would be made regarding the "grain deal". The talks lasted for an hour and a half, but there was no visible progress on the issues that were supposed to be discussed at the meeting. At the same time, despite the lack of public positive results, Erdogan was not afraid to call putin his friend.
Why did Erdogan go to Sochi?
It was expected that after the bilateral talks, the issue of russia's withdrawal from the grain deal, which took place in July 2023, would be resolved. However, putin said that moscow was not ready to restore the green corridor for ships and demanded the fulfillment of the agreements reached earlier, including the lifting of sanctions on the supply of russian grain and fertilizers to European markets. In addition, putin once again stated that it is not russia that is blocking the grain corridor, but the West.
At the same time, following the meeting, Erdogan called the russian dictator a "dear friend" and announced his intention to develop trade, economic, energy, financial and tourism relations with russia.
"Today, my dear friend vladimir putin and I have demonstrated a similar position on the normalization of our relations. We have to use the potential that our countries have for the sake of stability in the region," he said at a press conference following his meeting with the russian war criminal.
As for the "very important grain deal," the Turkish president summarized it quite succinctly:
"One of the issues we focused on was the revitalization of the Black Sea Initiative. In this context, in consultation with the United Nations, we have prepared a new package of proposals that provides for significant progress. As Turkey, I believe that we will reach a solution that meets expectations in a short time," Erdogan wrote on Twitter.
At the same time, the russian dictator's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, summarized the meeting between the two presidents with a rather harsh statement that russia was not going to sign anything as a result of the meeting.
How did Ukraine react to the meeting between Erdogan and putin?
According to Dmytro Kuleba, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine is in favor of the resumption of the Black Sea Initiative, but without fulfilling russia's whims and blackmail.
"If someone meets without Ukraine, it does not mean that they speak without Ukraine. Ukraine is like the shadow of Hamlet's father. We are always present," Kuleba said during a meeting with journalists.
"We absolutely understand the general logic of the discussion. Our position is very simple: the Black Sea Grain Initiative must be restored. Second, it should not be restored by fulfilling the whims and blackmail of the russian federation," he said.
In addition, the minister emphasized that russia withdrew from the grain agreement absolutely without any reason, as there were no legal or political grounds for this. Therefore, if someone makes concessions to russia now, it will return to its classic blackmail and in a month's time will put forward new "demands."
Separately, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine noted that Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Recep Erdogan have a very trusting relationship, and therefore they are confident that after the meeting in Sochi, the Turkish president will discuss all the details of the "negotiations" with the Ukrainian president.
Results of the meeting between Erdogan and putin
Obviously, the "grain deal" is not the main goal of the meeting between the two presidents. For Erdogan and putin, much more important are the issues related to the creation of an "energy hub" that will work as a natural gas trading center. The benefits for both sides are obvious, as Turkey is trying to gain access to cheap energy, and russia is seeking to find alternative routes for exporting its gas.
However, food security issues are also important for Erdogan, as Turkey has long been a major food hub, and so he will continue to "put pressure on these pain points of putin."
Finally, analysts believe that the russian dictator's refusal to restore the grain corridor is just an "attempt to make a buck" amid other failures, including on the front in Ukraine, in order to try to "wrestle out more favorable conditions" for himself later. However, it is unlikely that putin will be able to achieve his goal, because despite the fact that Ukraine really needs to restore the Black Sea Initiative, the country is actively and quite successfully working on alternative routes with Western partners.
We remind you! Ukraine's navy is significantly inferior to that of the russian federation in terms of size and technical component, but russian ships no longer dominate the sea. Read more about how Ukraine, with almost no ships, forced the russian Black Sea Fleet to defend itself and constantly feel in danger in our previous article.
Photo: Getty Images
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