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President Erdogan to meet Putin in Astana: Turkish official

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a regional meeting in the Kazakh city of Astana.

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A Turkish official told AFP that this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a regional meeting in the Kazakh city of Astana.

The official first said that the meeting would occur on Wednesday but subsequently stated that it looked like Erdoğan would meet Putin on Thursday, according to the most recent schedule.

According to the Turkish source, Erdoğan is set to go to Astana on Wednesday for discussions with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Türkiye has cordial ties with its two Black Sea neighbors, Russia and Ukraine, despite remaining neutral during the Ukraine war.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not yet reacted to Monday’s massive Russian airstrikes in Ukraine, which Ukrainian emergency services said killed at least 19 people and injured more than 100.

After the strikes, however, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu called his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, according to an unnamed Turkish diplomatic source.

Last month, Erdoğan and Putin met on the margins of a regional meeting in Uzbekistan.

The Turkish leader still expects to convene Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for cease-fire negotiations, which neither side wants but which Turkish officials think are vital and achievable.

Türkiye, a NATO member, has resisted supporting Western sanctions on Russia.

Erdoğan is eager to increase commerce with Moscow as he attempts to stabilize the devastating Turkish economy ahead of the June 2015 elections.

In response to pressure from the United States, Ankara acknowledged the closure of the last three Turkish banks still accepting card payments from Russia in the remaining month.

The decision came after weeks of increasingly stern warnings from the United States that Türkiye must either cut its business connections with Russia or face the danger of penalties.

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