Putin to meet Erdogan in Astana: Kremlin
Russian leader Vladimir Putin will meet Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the margins of a regional summit in the Kazakh capital Astana on October 13, the Kremlin said Tuesday.
“Preparations are underway for the meeting,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
The talks will be an opportunity to discuss the situation in “Ukraine, bilateral ties and exchange views on current issues”, he said, adding they will take place on Thursday.
A Turkish official initially told AFP the meeting would be on Wednesday, but later said it appeared Erdogan was likely to meet Putin on Thursday.
Erdogan is scheduled to fly to Astana on Wednesday for talks with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Turkish official said.
Turkey, which has stayed neutral throughout the conflict in Ukraine, has good relations with its two Black Sea neighbours — Russia and Ukraine.
Erdogan has not yet commented on mass Russian strikes across Ukraine on Monday, which Ukrainian emergency services said killed at least 19 people and wounded more than 100.
But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held a telephone call with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba after the attacks, a Turkish diplomatic source said, without elaborating.
Erdogan met Putin on the sidelines of a regional summit in Uzbekistan last month.
The Turkish leader still hopes to bring Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky together for truce talks that neither side particularly wants but which Turkish officials insist are essential and realistic.
NATO member Turkey has refrained from joining Western sanctions against Russia.
Erdogan is keen to boost trade with Moscow as he tries to stabilise the battered Turkish economy in the run-up to elections next June.
Last month Ankara bowed to pressure from the United States and confirmed the last three Turkish banks still processing Russian card payments were pulling the plug.
The decision followed weeks of increasingly blunt warnings from Washington for Turkey to either limit economic ties with Russia or face the threat of sanctions itself.