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TURKEY: Putin To Visit Turkey February 12


Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Turkey, Feb 12, for a first meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan since a September summit in Sochi, Russia.

  • The announcement comes in the wake of Turkey's ratification of Sweden's NATO membership and what appears to be a positive recalibration of relations with the West.
  • Kremlin spokesperson Yuri Ushakov told reporters yesterday that Ukraine will be on the agenda, stating Moscow remains open to negotiations with Kyiv: "We've said that we were ready from the very beginning... we are now ready, but there is no one to talk to because the Ukrainian side has forbidden itself to negotiate with the Russians."
  • Putin's trip could be designed to dissuade Ankara from deepening defence ties with the US. Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland appeared to suggest on Tuesday that the US and Turkey may resume talks on the supply of Patriot Missile systems, notable as Turkey's decision to exit the Patriot programme and procure a Russian S-400 systems in 2017 incurred US defence sanctions and pushed Erdogan closer to Putin.
  • One option being floated is transferring the Turkish S-400 to Azerbaijan but Middle East Eye cautions that a transfer requires Russian authorisation and could damage valued cordial relations with Moscow.
  • If talks are underway to reincorporate Turkey within the US defence ecosystem, which appears likely as the US is set to greenlight a stalled F-16 sale and considering Turkey's readmittance into the F-35 programme, then the outcome of February's meeting could be consequential for regional security.

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