The visit of Mr. Putin was planned and should have occurred earlier. According to Mr. Fidan, this visit will provide an opportunity to address various issues. Some media outlets have mentioned the date of February 12, but the Turkish presidency, when questioned by AFP, refused to confirm or specify where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to meet his Russian counterpart.
The two presidents have regularly met, with their last face-to-face meeting taking place in September 2023 in Mr. Putin’s holiday residence in Sochi. Since then, they have frequently communicated by phone. Mr. Erdogan has managed to maintain relations with both Ukraine and Russia since the start of the war.
Turkey has been helping Moscow bypass Western sanctions by continuing its trade exchanges with Russia. Many questions will be on the table during the upcoming meeting, including the situation in Syria. The presence of PKK fighters and their allies in northeastern Syria is a point of contention between Moscow and Ankara.
In 2019, an agreement between Ankara and Moscow ended a Turkish offensive in exchange for the creation of a 30 km “safe zone” to protect Turkey from potential attacks coming from Syrian territory. Turkey accuses Russia of not honoring these agreements.