26 Jun 2019 18:22

Putin, Erdogan to discuss Syria, may address S-400 sales at G20 summit - Kremlin

MOSCOW. June 26 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 summit in Osaka, and the two leaders might discuss the delivery of S-400 air defense missile systems to Ankara if they see fit, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said in presenting Putin's working schedule in the run-up to his trip to Japan.

Asked by journalists whether Russia will deliver the S-400s to Turkey in July and whether Putin and Erdogan plan to discuss the matter, Ushakov said: "The deliveries will take place in July, and if the leaders see fit to touch upon this issue, they will touch upon it. Although the picture there is pretty clear both to us and to the Turks," he said.

The sale of air defense missile systems to Turkey should significantly upgrade its defense capability, Ushakov said. "Russia highly values the Turkish leadership's determination to implement this contract, despite unprecedented pressure from the United States, which is demanding its revision," he said.

The presidents will discuss a broad range of issues on the bilateral and international agenda, Ushakov said.

"In discussing the international agenda, they will focus on the situation in Syria," he said.

Russia and Turkey are actively facilitating the launch of an intra-Syrian political dialogue, including within the framework of the Astana process, based on the UN Security Council resolution and with strict observance of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Ushakov said.

"Priority in this cooperation is also given to joint efforts toward fighting terrorist groups and normalizing the situation in the Idlib governorate," he said.

Ushakov additionally highlighted the special role assigned in Russian-Turkish bilateral cooperation to strategic joint projects in the energy sector, i.e., the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant and the TurkStream gas pipeline.

"Their implementation is proceeding successfully in line with the existing agreements and coordinated working schedules," he said.

Apart from top-level contacts, there is active collaboration between key Russian and Turkish ministries and other agencies as well, Ushakov said. The intergovernmental commission will have a regular meeting in Ankara on July 24-26, he said.