Russia, Turkey premiers to talk trade, energy in Sochi

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will discuss with his Turkish counterpart economic and regional issues, European security and the Nagorny-Karabakh dispute at a meeting in Sochi, a government source said on Saturday.

The talks, the eight time Putin and Tayyip Erdogan have met since 2004, are expected to focus on the fast developing economic ties between the two states, which last year saw trade turnover reaching $33.8 billion according to Russian figures.

"Russia has become Turkey's main external trade partner, edging Germany out of first place, while Turkey has moved into the top five countries for trade with Russia, outstripping Japan, the U.S. and Great Britain," the official said.

The energy sphere is an area where cooperation between the two states is expected to grow, with Russian companies taking part in a tender to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

In addition, Russia supplied Turkey with 23.8 billion cubic meters of gas last year, including 10 billion cu m through the Blue Stream pipeline linking Russia to Turkey under the Caspian Sea. This year the figure is expected to rise to 25.5 billion cu m.

The two premiers are also expected to discuss thawing ties between Armenia and Turkey over the long-running dispute over Nagorny-Karabakh, an ethnic region located within the borders of Turkey's ally Azerbaijan.

The Armenian and Turkish presidents agreed at talks in Prague to rebuild relations without any preconditions. The move comes after both sides agreed to a "roadmap" and normalize their relations under Swiss mediation in April.
RIA Novosti