Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea city of Sochi today. The
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea city of Sochi today.
The leaders will meet for the second time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The meeting’s agenda is expected to focus on military and technical cooperation between Ankara and Moscow. Turkey maintains strong ties to Russia despite its cooperation with Western allies and its support of Ukraine with Bayraktar combat drones.
Last month, Erdogan and Putin met in Tehran at a trilateral summit with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, where Iran expressed a readiness to supply Russia with combat drones and Turkey threatened to renew its invasion of northern Syria to push back against US-backed Kurdish fighters in the region.
While Turkey brokered the deal on the unblockage of Ukrainian grain exports, Erdogan warned earlier that he may veto Sweden and Finland’s acceptance to NATO due to their support of Kurdish separatists. Turkey’s wavering commitment to Western allies puts recent American plans to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey into question. In the short-to-medium term, Erdogan may carry out the veto as he tries to focus Turkey’s military capabilities on combatting Kurdish separatists in Syria. In turn, this will seriously undermine NATO’s capacity to dash Russian war efforts.