President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hailed Moscow and Ankara’s ability to find “compromises” as he hosted Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for talks, Agence France-Presse reported.
Russia and Turkey have historically had complex relations, balancing regional rivalries with finding common ground on economic and strategic interests.
In recent years, the two powers have clashed in particular in Syria, where Moscow and Ankara support opposing camps in the civil war.
They also found themselves on different sides in last year’s conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Negotiations are sometimes difficult — but with a final positive result,” Putin said at his residence in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
He added that the two countries “have learned to find compromises favorable to both parties.”
Erdoğan, who regularly meets with his Russian counterpart, said he believes there are great benefits in “Turkey and Russia keeping stronger relations each passing day.”
In Syria, the two countries last year sponsored a ceasefire deal in the northwestern Idlib region, home to the last major jihadist and rebel stronghold in northwest Syria.
“The steps we have taken with Russia related to Syria are of utmost importance,” Erdoğan told Putin.
“The peace there depends on Turkey-Russia relations.”
Despite their clashes, the two countries have grown closer in recent years thanks to tensions between Moscow and the West and Ankara’s increasingly delicate relations with its NATO allies.
In 2019, Turkey agreed to a multi-billion-dollar purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system that led to US sanctions last year.
Ankara and Moscow also have important common economic interests, particularly in tourism and food exports.
Putin said that total Turkish investments in Russia had reached $1.5 billion, while Russian investments in Turkey had grown to $6.5 billion.
He also pointed to last year’s inauguration of the Turkish Stream pipeline, which transports Russian gas via Turkey across the Black Sea to Europe.