Putin to hold strategic meetings with Xi, Raisi, Erdogan in Samarkand
The Russian President will have a busy schedule with plans to meet with the three leaders on the sidelines of the upcoming SCO meeting to will be held in Samarkand on September 15-16.
On September 15-16, Uzbekistan will be hosting the 2022 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand this year, with Iran partaking as a new full member of the organization.
There is plenty on Russian President Vladimir Putin's agenda. The leader plans to meet with three different leaders on the sidelines of the SCO meeting, namely Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Meeting with Xi
In his meeting with Xi, the two leaders plan to discuss the Ukraine conflict in depth, as well as the Taiwan issue, according to Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov.
“Given the current international situation, this meeting, of course, has special importance,” Ushakov said, adding that the leaders would address “the bilateral agenda, as well as major regional and international topics."
Ushakov added that Beijing has held very balanced views on the matter of the conflict with Ukraine. Beijing “clearly states that it understands the reasons that had forced Russia to launch the special military operation” against Kiev in late February.
Ushakov commented on the upcoming meeting, being a “long-anticipated personal contact” since both leaders last met during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in February.
He expects both sides “to positively assess” their bilateral strategic partnership in light of their tremendous achievements that brought into being the multipolar world order.
Another topic on the agenda will be the issue of Taiwan, building on the Russian leader’s recent meeting with Li Zhanshu, the speaker of the Chinese National People’s Congress, during an economic forum in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok.
Tensions soared between China and Taiwan earlier this month, reaching their highest in decades, due to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island after Beijing warned both Washington and Taipei against such a trip.
There are no plans for signing any documents by the end of the meetings, Ushakov said, stating that this is just “a working meeting of the leaders.”
Meeting with Raisi
In his meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, topics on Putin's agenda will include bilateral affairs, as well as international and regional security, in particular the JCPOA nuclear deal.
Moreover, a new agreement is underway between the two countries in order to further strengthen their strategic partnership. This will be the fourth time the two leaders meet this year.
The first meeting this year was on January 19 in Moscow, the second was on June 29 during which they held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat, and the third was on July 19 during the Astana summit in Tehran.
Despite the pandemic and Western-imposed sanctions on both countries, Russian-Iranian trade and economic relations have flourished positively.
The volume of trade in 2021 increased by 81.4%, reaching $4.1 billion. The trade balance increased by another 30% between January and August, with the index exceeding $3 billion.
As for large-scale joint projects, the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is operating steadily, and the state-owned Rosatom Corporation is continuing work on the construction of the second phase of the plant, namely Units No. 2 and No. 3. In the Iranian province of Hormozgan, with the participation of the Siloviye Machinery industrial group, the construction of the Serik thermal power plant with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts is being implemented. Moreover, the Russian company Caspian Services is implementing the railway electrification program in northern Iran in the Garmsar-Inche-Boron section.
Views will also be exchanged on urgent international and regional issues, including the Syrian settlement, the situation in Afghanistan, and security issues in the South Caucasus.
Meeting with Erdogan
Talks with Turkish President Erdogan will include discussions on Russian-Turkish ties, including talks on agreements for strengthening trade and economic relations and the development of the Sochi summit talks held on August 5 of this year.
In 2021, the volume of Russian-Turkish trade increased by 57% to reach $33 billion. From January to June of this year, it rose by another 93.8%.
Moreover, the volume of mutual investments amounted to about 8.5 billion dollars.
Partnership in the energy sector is of a strategic nature, as Russia provides stable energy supplies to Turkey, in particular. 26.75 billion cubic meters of gas was pumped to Turkey via the Blue Stream and TurkStream pipelines in 2021.
Work is also underway on the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, and the first power unit is scheduled to be commissioned in 2023, on the occasion of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
The two presidents are also expected to discuss in detail a number of other topics, such as the implementation of the agreements reached in July this year in Istanbul on food security and the "grain deal", and other important files, such as the situation in Ukraine and coordinating efforts to ensure peace and stability in Syria and the Caucasus.