April meeting of Putin and Erdogan
Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow today.
According to the Turkish leader, he plans to discuss with his Russian counterpart a possible Turkish military operation in Syria.
"Our preparations on the border are finished, everything is ready for an operation. We can begin it at any moment. I will discuss this issue among others face-to-face (with Putin) on my visit to Russia," Erdoğan told reporters ahead of his departure for Moscow.
Erdogan also said that everything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been doing since 1948 violates international law and U.N. resolutions. "Every action of Israel since 1948 is illegal. But, of course, it has always taken these steps with a support of the U.S," he stressed.
Earlier, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov said that the Russian and his Turkish leaders at the meeting on April 8 will discuss Syria, the deliveries of S-400 air defense systems to Turkey, the pace of building the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. In addition, the presidents will participate in a plenary session of the Cooperation Council, which will be followed by their roundtable discussion with representatives of business.
The Turkish leader's last visit to Russia was held on February 14.
The head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies, Yuri Mavashev, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Erdogan's working visit will be mainly devoted to economic issues. "The presidents will participate in a plenary session of the Cooperation Council to discuss the number of issues, including the Turkish Stream project and deliveries of S-400 air defense systems. The will take part in the ceremony of opening the Cross Year of Culture and Tourism of Russia and Turkey. Although the Syrian issue will be also discussed today, the talks will be focused on bilateral relations," he said.
"If we talk about the frequency of presidential contacts in general, it is based on contacts of ministries and departments that have been actively implemented recently, especially in the area of security. This is the political intention of the two countries - cooperation, especially since we found ourselves in quite similar situations. Both Russia and Turkey combine the features of the West and the East, while Europe and the United States do not perceive Russia and Turkey as part of the West, they view us as a separate political region. According to many Americans experts, the West has started to perceive Turkey as a state, which has its own way. Thus, there is growth in the number of contacts between our countries," Mavashev noted.
Political scientist Orhan Gafarli stressed that good relations between the leaders of Russia and Turkey promote mutual dialogue between the two countries. "The positive cooperation between Moscow and Ankara also allows constructive discussion of regional issues of the Middle East and the Black Sea region. President Erdogan's visit is also related to the Cross Year of Culture and Tourism of Russia and Turkey. The next talks will undoubtedly contribute to open discussion of all the issues in bilateral relations, as well as issues of neighboring countries, primarily Syria," he said.
"The presidents will have to discuss how to clear Syria's Idlib of terrorists, the Astana peace process development. In bilateral relations there is such a problem that Turkish citizens still travel to Russia only with visas, so Erdogan will promote the visa-free regime. I think that both countries have mutual understanding on the idlib process, the only question is how this process will develop," Orhan Gafarli concluded.