Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Ankara, where he is due to meet with Turkish and Iranian leaders. The talks will center around resolution of the conflict in Syria and S-400 deliveries to Turkey, among other issues.
On Tuesday, Putin began his first visit abroad since re-election in the Turkish capital Ankara. The Russian leader is expected to have diverse discussions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and will be joined by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday.
S-400 supplies and starting nuclear industry in Turkey
Putin will begin the two-day visit by addressing workers at an opening ceremony that marks the start of construction works at Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu. Russia is standing “at the onset of creation of nuclear industry in Turkey,” said Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov.
The bilateral meeting between Putin and Erdogan is expected to touch upon the long-negotiated delivery of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missiles. Moscow is trying to meet Ankara’s calls for supplies to be expedited, Ushakov revealed. The first complexes of the advanced Russian anti-aircraft system are scheduled to be delivered to Turkey in 2020, despite discontent from some of Turkey’s NATO allies, including the US.
Guarantor states gather to discuss the Syrian crisis
The Russian and Turkish leaders will also discuss the situation in Syria, both during their bilateral meetings and when they are joined by their Iranian counterpart. The trio are known as guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, and their joint efforts have decreased the level of violence and led to the demise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in the war-torn country.
In a new development, Syrian government forces liberated all militant-held settlements in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta last week. Russian military assisted the operation in the area and, thanks to Russian-brokered humanitarian “pauses” and safe passages, around 150,000 people managed to escape the enclave.
READ MORE: Major E. Ghouta highway cleared after 7-year militant blockade (DRONE FOOTAGE)