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Putin, Erdogan agree to stimulate economic co-operation

President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan adopted a statement on Friday in which they committed to bolstering political and economic cooperation, including in the fields of energy and trade.

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The talks between Putin and Erdogan took place while Russia’s isolation grew after its assault on Ukraine.

“In spite of the current regional and global challenges, the leaders reaffirmed their joint commitment to further develop relations between Russia and Turkey,” the Kremlin said in a statement after four-hour discussions in the city of Sochi, the seaside resort of the Black Sea.

Putin and Erdogan agreed to boost trade and economic cooperation, with emphasis on transport, agriculture, tourism, and construction.

The declaration stated that the two leaders agreed “to meet the expectations of the opposite side in the economic and energy spheres”.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, speaking in televised talks, called the agreements “very important”, with links aimed at reaching “a new level of development” in “virtually all sectors”.

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Putin and Erdogan also stressed the importance of “sincere, frank and trusting relationships” to achieve regional and global stability, the Kremlin said.

While Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine was not explicitly mentioned in the declaration, the leaders emphasized the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments noting that the two countries “constructive relations” have made the agreement possible.

The statement also does not directly mention a new offensive that Turkey might plan against Kurdish militants in Syria.

Putin and Erdogan met for a tripartite summit in Iran in July.

At the time Putin told Erdogan that Russia remained opposed to any new offensive that Turkey might be planning against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

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