Putin meets Erdogan for closed-door talks

President Vladimir PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday met Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks expected to touch on energy issues and the Syria crisis, Russian news agencies reported.

The two leaders met a day after attending the opening ceremony of the inaugural European Games, hosted by Azerbaijan and tainted by controversy over the ex-Soviet country’s rights record.

Speaking ahead of their closed-door talks, Erdogan commented that no European Union leaders had come to the games.

“Turkey, a candidate for EU entry, represented the whole European Union,” a smiling Putin said in televised comments.

The Kremlin spokesman said ahead of what he expected to be “very substantive talks” that the leaders could discuss the TurkStream pipeline to supply Russian gas to Turkey, whose construction is set to begin at the end of this month.

The leaders were also set to discuss the situation in Syria, Dmitry Peskov said.

“They will need to compare notes and exchange opinions on the complex situation in regional affairs — that’s the situation in Syria, for sure.”

Putin was accompanied by energy minister Alexander Novak, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, nuclear energy agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko and the chief of Gazprom state energy giant Alexei Miller, the Kremlin website said.

The two leaders last met in December, when Putin made a one-day state visit to Turkey.

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