Putin, Erdogan discuss Zaporozhye, grain deal & bilateral cooperation
Russia and Turkey boost cooperation further amid Western sanctions.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed bilateral cooperation, the situation in Ukraine and the grain deal during a phone conversation Saturday, as revealed by the Kremlin.
"In the context of agreements reached during the high-level talks in Sochi on August 5, they discussed further developing multifaceted cooperation between Russia and Turkey," the Kremlin said.
The two presidents confirmed intentions to expand trade and economic relations, in addition to joint strategic projects in the energy sector.
The situation in Ukraine, particularly regarding Zaporozhye, was also discussed: Erdogan made note of Russia's constructive role in organizing the IAEA mission to the nuclear power plant.
The grain deal was also discussed. Last week, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported that under the UN-brokered grain deal, four cargo ships loaded with agricultural products departed from Ukrainian ports.
Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey signed an UN-brokered initiative on July 22 to provide a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships to carry food and fertilizers from Black Sea ports.
US warns Turkey that cooperation with Russia could result in sanctions
Last week, Turkey's business community faced mounting US pressure to sever its growing ties with Russia or risk crushing sanctions as the US grew more concerned that Russian enterprises and the government are using Turkey to get over banking and trade sanctions imposed by the collective West against Russian following the Ukraine war.
At a conference last month in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to expand their economic cooperation. In accordance with that cooperation, official statistics show that Turkish exports to Russia increased in value from May to July of last year by about 50%.
Russian oil imports into Turkey are surging, and the two countries have decided to switch to using rubles as payment for natural gas delivered by Gazprom.
Wally Adeyemo, the US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, traveled to Ankara and Istanbul on a rare occasion in June to voice Washington's concerns about Russian billionaires and major corporations using Turkish firms to circumvent Western sanctions.
With excellent relations with both Moscow and Kiev, NATO member Turkey has attempted to maintain neutrality in the war and has resisted submitting to the international sanctions system.