President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Tehran next week Meetings with the leaders of Iran and Turkeypushing him into the difficult diplomatic terrain as he seeks to improve relations with two countries sometimes allied, sometimes at sharp odds, with Russia and with each other.
Mr. Putin, who has drastically limited his travel during the pandemic, has been engaged in a series of recent diplomacy, seeking to bolster military and economic support with non-Western countries to counter Western military aid to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.
On a visit to Central Asia last week, his first overseas trip since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin – who has recently likened himself to Peter the Great – pitched in front of his close allies and insisted the war was going according to plan.
Mr. Putin’s latest diplomatic efforts come as President Biden prepares to travel to the Middle East this week to meet with leaders of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
On Monday, Biden’s national security adviser said Russia was Searching for drones from Iran, including those capable of launching missiles, to make up for the dearth of armed surveillance drones on the battlefield. Analysts say Russia also sees Iran as an important recent economic partner, offering a trade route and expertise in circumventing sanctions and exporting oil.
But Mr. Putin may also have to cool ties with Iran and Russia It eats its share of the world oil market, while trying to find common ground with Turkey, a member of NATO. Despite Moscow’s objections, Turkey recently raised its objections to Alliance expansion along the borders of Russia.
Higher fuel prices boosted Russia’s revenue as it made gradual military gains in Ukraine, but Western sanctions continue to hurt its economy and limit its ability to build or buy technology for military use.
In Tehran, the Iranian capital, Putin will also hold peace talks on Syria, the decade-long conflict in which Iran and Russia have backed the government and Turkey has backed an opposition faction. Dmitriy S. said: Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, told reporters on Tuesday that Putin will meet with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and will also hold separate meetings with both of them.
Mr. Erdogan, whose country shares a Black Sea coast with both Russia and Ukraine, has emerged as the most active mediator between Mr. Putin and President Volodymyr Zelensky. Turkey is in talks to try to overcome Russia’s blockade of more than 20 million tons of Ukrainian Grain exports exacerbated by the global food crisis.
Turkey will host delegations from Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations in Istanbul on Wednesday for negotiations on resuming grain shipments, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.
Iran, a longtime Russian ally in its confrontation with the West, has become more central to Putin’s diplomacy due to the war in Ukraine. Mr. Putin met Mr. Raisi on the sidelines of a regional summit in Turkmenistan last month, and spoke with him by phone in early June, according to the Kremlin.
“Our relationship is of a really deep strategic nature,” Mr. Putin told Mr. Raisi in Turkmenistan, noting that trade between the two countries rose by 81 percent last year.
At a summit meeting in Uzbekistan in September, Iran is expected to join a multilateral security group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which already includes Russia and China. Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, last month He praised Iran’s accession As a move that would strengthen the organization “as one of the main centers of the emerging multipolar world order”, thereby weakening the global influence of the United States.
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