Erdogan, Putin tackle bilateral relations, Syrian, Ukrainian crises
Russian and Turkish presidents talk over the phone and discuss bilateral relations in addition to Syria, Ukraine, and the gas hub project.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Thursday about the Syrian crisis, the situation in Ukraine, and bilateral relations, as per Erdogan's office.
"President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the talks, the sides discussed Turkey-Russia relations, especially in the energy field, and regional issues such as the Syrian, and Ukrainian crises," the statement read.
During the phone, Erdogan also tackled the creation of a gas hub in Turkey, expressing hope for the timely completion of the project's road map.
“President Erdogan said during the talks that Ankara has strengthened and continues to strengthen the gas hub infrastructure in Turkey and that the Turkish side is committed to completing the road map and taking concrete steps to implement it as soon as possible," the Turkish President's office said.
Erdogan has lately confirmed that his country is preparing for the Russian gas hub project in the country proposed earlier by Russian President Vladimir Putin that will move Russian gas to the EU.
The pipeline of the hub starts on the Russian coast, runs over 930 km through the Black Sea, and comes ashore in the Thrace region of Turkey.
It directly connects the largest gas reserves in Russia to the Turkish gas transportation network, providing reliable energy to Turkey, and South and Southeast Europe.
On the Syrian issue, Erdogan stated that Syria should take "political" steps to eradicate Ankara's perceived threat originating from Kurdish militia in border areas.
“President Erdogan has stressed that it is necessary to take concrete steps to eliminate the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization [Kurdistan Workers' Party, designated terrorist in Turkey] from the areas bordering Turkey, especially Tell Rifaat and Manbij, and said that the regime should be constructive to take steps in the political process to achieve concrete results on Syria," the Turkish President's office concluded.
This is happening as the political rapprochement Ankara seeks with Damascus is well underway amid Russian mediation efforts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tyyip Erdogan in a phone call on Thursday gave their positive assessment of the recent meeting of defense and intelligence chiefs of Russia, Turkey, and Syria, the Kremlin said.
"The Syrian settlement received special attention. Positive assessments were given to the December 2022 meeting in Moscow among ministers of defense and chiefs of intelligence services of Russia, Turkey and Syria. A hope was expressed that the continuation of trilateral contacts would produce cardinal improvement of the situation in Syria, including with regard to restoring its territorial integrity, resolving the refugee issue and accomplishing the tasks in fighting international terrorist groups," the statement read.
The trilateral summit in Moscow marked the first meeting between Turkish and Syrian defense ministers in 11 years.
Putin, Erdogan discuss Ukrainian crisis, Akkuyu NPP, gas hub project: Kremlin
The Ukrainian crisis, the progress of joint construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, and a prospective gas hub in Turkey was also discussed during the phone call, the Kremlin said.
"A telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place. They discussed the further expansion of trade and economic ties, primarily in the energy sector. The sides noted the priority of such strategically important joint projects as creation of a regional gas hub in Turkey and construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant," the statement read.
The Russian leader noted the destructive role of Western countries pumping Kiev with weapons and providing it with information on the situation on the ground and potential targets, the Kremlin said.
Putin also confirmed Russia's openness to dialogue on Ukraine, provided that the Kiev authorities fulfill the "well-known and repeatedly voiced requirements" and respect the new "territorial realities".