Russian and Turkish presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss bilateral economic relations, including the delivery of S-400 air defense missile systems, as well as the situation in Syria at the talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on 3 May, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Monday.
“This invitation [to visit Sochi] came personally from Putin. This visit is important from the viewpoint of discussing important issues for both countries – economic ones, tourism, as well as Syria. The possible delivery of Russian S-400 air defense missile systems to Turkey will be on the agenda in Sochi. Our talks on the issue are continuing, I think that the meeting in Sochi will give a new impetus to this,” Kalin told reporters.
The CEO of Rostec Corporation, Sergey Chemezov, had announced in March that Ankara and Moscow were in negotiations over providing a loan to Turkey to buy Russian missiles, including the Russian army’s anti-aircraft missile system, the S-400.
On his flight back from Moscow earlier in this year, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had told journalists that his country might strike a deal with Russia on a missile defence system if such opportunities could not be found within NATO.
“Being a member of NATO doesn’t mean we are not an independent country. We can be a NATO member and conduct business with Russia too. We do not agree with statements that express anything contrary to this,” the president said on the same flight.