Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan summed up the results of the meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi. The Turkish president highly appreciated the meeting and said that the negotiations were productive.
The meeting in Sochi became the first one-on-one meeting for the leaders of the two countries in 18 months. The negotiations took place against the backdrop of another aggravation of the crisis in northern Syria and lasted for about three hours. Erdogan arrived at the meeting accompanied by the head of Turkish intelligence service, Khakan Fidan. The delegation of the Turkish president also included the head of the Office of Communications of the Erdogan administration Fahrettin Altun and press secretary Ibrahim Kalyn.
In turn, Vladimir Putin actually came out of two weeks of self-isolation to meet Recep Erdogan. Prior to that, almost all meetings of the Russian president were held via video connection.
During the talks, Erdogan called Russian-Turkish relations the main guarantor of peace in Syria and security in the entire Middle East. He also noted the importance of cooperation in improving the defense capabilities of both countries.
Following the meeting of the two presidents, it was reported that the Turkish military left the southern part of Idlib and retreated towards the north. It was also noted that during Erdogan's visit to Russia, the aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces arranged a day of silence in Idlib after almost two weeks of bombing pro-Turkish militants.
The Turkish President also noted that Russia and Turkey continued the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear plant, the first block of which is likely to be put in operation next year. There are 13,000 people working at the site, including 10,000 Turkish citizens who studied in Russia and 3,000 Russians.
During the meeting, Putin and Erdogan discussed issues of economic cooperation between Ankara and Moscow and exchanged views on the crises in Libya, Afghanistan and the Caucasus. Putin assessed Turkey's influence on the state of affairs in Nagorno-Karabakh. In his opinion, the Russian-Turkish center for control over the ceasefire on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia works actively.
Recep Erdogan also thanked Putin for Russia's assistance to Turkey in combating wildfires and expressed condolences in connection with the tragic death of Russian EMERCOM employees who took part in the operations to extinguish the fires. "Only a good friend comes on a dark day," Erdogan said.
An intense movement of NATO aircraft was reported at Poland's Rzeszow airfield near the Ukrainian border