A meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Turkey was held in Sochi, Russia in order to discuss international issues and to prepare the ground for the upcoming meeting of the Presidents of the two countries.
“Russia and Turkey are going to continue their military cooperation, despite US sanctions against Turkey, a NATO member that bought a Russian air defense system,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the meeting.
“We reaffirmed with Turkey our mutual goal to develop our technical military cooperation,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart.
The Russian minister said “Western sanctions” would not affect relations between the two countries, “driven by their national interests”, stressing that President Putin appreciated Turkey’s determination to “continue co-operation in this area despite pressure from Washington. “
He further added that despite the pandemic, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart remain in close contact as they have met three times in the past year, taken part in a video conference, and had more than 10 telephone conversations. “This statistic alone shows the rich agenda that governs our relationship,” he said.
According to Sergei Lavrov, in addition to preparing for the two presidents’ meeting, his talks with Mevlüt Çavuşoglu included issues of the Black Sea, the Middle East, and the Caucasus region.
“We have a rich international agenda, the agreement on Syria, Libya, other parts of the Middle East, and the recent Nagorno-Karabakh issue.”
For his part, Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu made it clear that Turkey’s relations with Russia are not an alternative to his country’s relations with NATO and the European Union.