Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Ankara and met his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following stops in Syria and Egypt. The two leaders discussed the situation in Jerusalem, the S-400 missile deal, and an energy pipeline.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara and Moscow were on the same page regarding the US move on Jerusalem and added that the two leaders would keep in contact on the issue.
Russia President Putin said, “Both Russia and Turkey believe, the resolution of the US to move the American embassy to Jerusalem is far from helping the situation in the region which is difficult as it is today.”
The two presidents were speaking at a press conference in Turkey’s capital Ankara.
Putin made stops in Syria and Egypt before landing in Turkey; the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital topping his agenda in several meetings.
Turkish and Russian officials will meet to finalise Turkey’s S-400 surface-to-air missile systems deal in the coming week, Erdogan said at the news conference with Putin.
“Our officials will come together in the coming week to finalise the S-400 issue,” President Erdogan said.
Turkey has been negotiating with Russia to buy the S-400 system for more than a year. Washington and some of its NATO allies are not pleased by the decision because the weapons cannot be integrated into the alliance’s system.
Turkey expects to receive its first system in 2019, defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said in November adding that the deal includes two S-400 systems while one was optional.
Turkey has been working to develop its own defence systems and equipment and has lined up several projects for the coming years including combat helicopters, tanks, drones and more.
Erdogan also announced that both leaders will meet in Sochi soon.
Putin and Erdogan had already met several times this year and regularly talk on the telephone as they and Iran work to broker a solution in Syria.
Relations between the two countries were tense after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet for violating its airspace in 2015.
But the two have since restored bilateral relations.