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Ukraine grain deal and Syria top agenda for Putin’s talks with Iran and Turkey

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for a summit with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts that will have crucial implications for his military campaign in Ukraine.

Putin’s trip, his second foreign visit since launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February, is ostensibly intended for three-way talks with Iranian Ibrahim Raisi and Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the conflict in Syria.

But the meeting could produce a breakthrough in talks to end Russia’s siege of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, which Erdogan and the UN are mediating to secure the transition Millions of tons of grain.

Ukraine, the EU and Turkey said grain talks are close to reaching an agreement, perhaps as early as this week. Prior to the invasion, Ukraine was the fifth largest exporter of wheat in the world and a major supplier to countries including Syria, Libya and Lebanon.

But any deal would require Putin’s personal signature, according to Western sources, as Russia demands that the West lift sanctions that it says limit its grain exports.

“Beyond a doubt, it is 100 percent certain that this issue will be discussed directly by the presidents,” Yuri Ushkov, Putin’s foreign policy adviser, told reporters on Monday, according to the Interfax news agency.

Sources in the West fear that Iran may intervene in the conflict in Ukraine after the US warned that Iran is preparing to supply Russia Hundreds of skimmers And other unmanned aerial vehicles last week.

At the top of the tripartite agenda will be Erdogan’s vow to launch a new invasion of Syria with the aim of targeting Kurdish militants in the northwest of the country. Russia, Iran and Turkey have played a part in the 11-year-old conflict.

Putin congratulates Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the center and President Ibrahim Raisi during Tehran talks © Iranian Supreme Leader Office / AP

Moscow and Tehran are the two most important foreign supporters of President Bashar al-Assad, while Ankara has long supported rebel groups seeking to overthrow him.

Although they support opposing sides, the three countries have worked together to shape the future of the war-torn country, bypassing UN-led negotiations aimed at ending the civil war.

Erdogan, whose army controls several pockets in northern Syria after launching four previous invasions in the past six years, announced in late May that it was planning a new offensive to expel Kurdish militants from two northwestern regions.

In a speech after a bilateral meeting with Putin, the Turkish president suggested that he had failed to gain approval from Putin for the operation, which would target a region in Syria that is part of Russia’s sphere of influence.

“I hear words from you, dear friends, that Turkey’s security concerns are understandable,” Erdogan said at the start of the summit. “I’m grateful for that, but words alone are not enough.” He urged both Moscow and Tehran to offer “their sincere support for this clean-up in Syria.”

Erdogan positioned Turkey as a mediator in the country Ukraine conflict. Turkey said Russia’s invasion was “unacceptable” and provided Ukraine’s armed forces with its Bayraktar TB2 drones.

Said Ushkov Russia And Turkey will discuss the transition to alternative payment mechanisms, Moscow’s priority after Western sanctions effectively froze it from using the dollar.

Unprecedented sanctions against Russia have prompted Moscow to step up cooperation with Tehran. Iran has spent more than a decade under similar severe sanctions on its nuclear program and support for Islamist militant groups, and Moscow is interested in learning how She faced the restrictions.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Iranian state media on Sunday that the sanctions were “the price our country and Iran are paying for our sovereignty,” according to state news network RIA Novosti.

Tehran regime insiders recognize the importance of maintaining good relations with Moscow in order to foster cooperation in Syria and as a means of increasing trade in the face of international sanctions.

Iran’s national oil company on Tuesday announced a memorandum of understanding with Russian Gazprom to help develop Iran’s oil and gas fields in a deal that could be worth $ 40 billion.

Russia has supported the restoration of the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which collapsed when former US President Donald Trump resigned from it in 2018, and wanted to reverse sanctions against Tehran, Ushakov said.

Another report by Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran

Ukraine grain deal and Syria top agenda for Putin’s talks with Iran and Turkey Source link Ukraine grain deal and Syria top agenda for Putin’s talks with Iran and Turkey

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