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President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed that the Russian leader will visit Turkey 'soon', Interfax cited a Kremlin aide as saying on Friday.

The visit would be Putin's first to a NATO country since he ordered tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Putin has only rarely traveled outside Russia since the beginning of full-scale hostilities.

'There is an invitation from the president of Turkey.

Putin and Erdogan agreed that the visit will be in the near future, but we have not yet talked about a specific day, specific dates,' Interfax cited Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov as saying.

Erdogan, re-elected last month for another five-year term, has sought to maintain strong ties with both Moscow and Kyiv since the start of the conflict in Ukraine.

Turkey has refused to join its Western allies in imposing economic sanctions on Russia, but has also supplied arms to Ukraine and called for its sovereignty to be respected.

Ankara has also helped to broker prisoner exchanges and, along with the United Nations, negotiated a deal in July 2022 to allow for the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports via the Black Sea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later hailed what he called the 'unprecedented cooperation' between Moscow and Ankara, praising Erdogan's 'balanced position' on the Ukraine conflict.

Original Article Source: Al Manar | Published on Wednesday, 02 August 2023 13:21 (about 206 days ago)