St Petersburg visit could lead to closer ties with Russia as Turkish president criticises wests response to failed coup
Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoan are due to meet face to face for the first time since the Turkish air force shot down a Russian plane last November. The incident led to a breakdown in relations between the countries and their leaders.
Erdoans day trip to St Petersburg on Tuesday will also be his first foreign visit since the failed takeover in Turkey last month and an ensuing, vicious crackdown that has strained relations between Ankara and its western allies. Putin may see an opportunity to rekindle the Russia-Turkey relationship after Erdoan last week accused the west, and the US in particular, of supporting terrorism in Turkey.
Erdoan also expressed fury at the west in comments published in French newspaper Le Monde on Monday. He compared international solidarity with France over the Charlie Hebdo attacks last year with the response to the takeover try in Turkey: I would have hoped that the leaders of the western world would have reacted in the same route and not have contented themselves with a few cases cliches.
He also threatened to cancel the migration agreement between Turkey and the EU, due to a European delay in implementing a visa waiver for Turkish citizens. The European Union is not behaving in a sincere manner with Turkey, he said.
The Russian president, who has a visceral dislike of street protests and takeovers, was one of the first foreign leaders to phone Erdoan and voice his support after the takeover try. He is unlikely to lecturing the Turkish president on the need for moderation in any reprisal.
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