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Putin to meet Erdogan in Kazakhstan, likely to look at Ukraine peace options

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for talks in Kazakhstan on Thursday (13 October), a meeting at which the Turks are likely to raise ideas for peace in Ukraine, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.

“Now many say that the Turks are ready to come up with other initiatives in the context of the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict,” Ushakov said.

“There are reports in the press that the Turkish side is putting forward specific considerations in this regard, I do not exclude that Erdoğan will actively touch on this topic during the Astana contact. So a very interesting and, I hope, useful discussion awaits us.”

Astana is hosting summits of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia (CICA) and a formal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The members of CICA are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

11 countries are represented at the CICA summit at the level of head of states: Azerbaijan, Belarus (observer), Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan, Qatar, the remaining at various other levels. 

The members of CIS are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

The CICA summit started on Thursday and the CIS summit will take place on Friday.

Putin will also meet Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Kazakhstan, Ushakov told reporters.

“This will be the first face-to-face meeting after the outbreak of the pandemic, so it is very important,” Ushakov said. “The last time we met with the Emir was in Dushanbe in 2019.”

Discussions would focus on politics and trade, he said, adding: “I would single out cooperation in the energy market, cooperation between Russia and Qatar within the framework of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.”

Thursday’s scheduled meeting is an attempt to diffuse tensions between Russia and Qatar, which have grown since the Ukraine crisis broke out earlier this year, according to a source familiar with the talks.

Major gas-exporter Qatar has sought a largely neutral stance on the conflict but several moves by the Gulf Arab state have recently irked Moscow, the source said.

Sheikh Tamim called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday hours after explosions rocked several Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv. Qatar has criticised Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory and was one of eight non-NATO countries to join a NATO meeting earlier this year, the source said.

Russia had shown its displeasure by interfering in key Qatar dossiers, the source said, citing as examples its delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria and its role in facilitating talks between world powers on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Qatar “needs cordial relations with Russia and others in the region,” in order to continue to play a role as a conflict mediator, the source said.

Source: Euractiv