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Putin will meet with Erdogan and Raisi in Iran for talks on Syria

The Russian president will travel to Tehran next week as part of the Astana peace process. He is also scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Erdogan to discuss the creation of grain export corridors in Ukraine
El presidente ruso Vladimir Putin, en una reunión en el Kremlin en Moscú, Rusia, el lunes 11 de julio de 2022 Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via A

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via A  -   Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting in the Kremlin on Monday, 11 July 2022.

On Tuesday 19 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Tehran to meet with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin said. Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the three leaders would hold a trilateral meeting as part of the Astana peace process for Syria.

"Preparations are underway for the president's trip to Tehran. There will be a meeting of the heads of state guarantors of the Astana process," Peskov said. The trip to Iran will be Putin's second foreign trip since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, after the Caspian Sea summit in Turkmenistan.

The three countries are involved in Syria in different ways. While Iran and Russia back the Damascus government and are the main allies of Bashar al-Assad, Turkey provides military support to the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups in the northeast of the country that are fighting national forces.

Esta imagen proporcionada por la presidencia iraní el 1 de julio de 2020 muestra al presidente Hassan Rouhani asistiendo por videoconferencia a una reunión trilateral con los líderes de Turquía y Rusia sobre el tema de Siria, en la capital iraní, Teherán AFP PHOTO / HO / PRESIDENCIA IRANÍ
AFP PHOTO / HO / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY - Former President Hassan Rouhani attending by video conference a trilateral meeting with the leaders of Turkey and Russia on the situation in Syria.

In addition to the meeting on Syria "there will be bilateral meetings", the Kremlin spokesman said. In particular, Peskov referred to "a high-level meeting between Putin and Erdogan". The two leaders are expected to discuss the creation of corridors for Ukrainian grain exports, which they discussed during a recent phone call. Turkey has been negotiating with Russia and Ukraine since the end of May to open a corridor through the Bosporus for Ukrainian grain exports because of the severe food crisis looming worldwide as a result of the war. 

El agricultor Andriy Zubko comprueba la madurez del trigo en un campo de la región de Donetsk, Ucrania, el martes 21 de junio de 2022. Se calcula que hay 22 millones de toneladas de grano bloqueadas en Ucrania, y la presión aumenta al comenzar la nueva cosecha AP/EFREM LUKATSKY
AP/EFREM LUKATSKY - An estimated 22 million tonnes of grain blocked in Ukraine

Raisi, for his part, will be the third time he has met Putin since he became president in August 2021. The Iranian leader travelled to Moscow in January and subsequently met Putin at the Caspian summit. In parallel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahain in June to "further enhance bilateral cooperation".

According to Mohammadreza Pour-Ebrahimi, the head of the Iranian parliament's Economic Commission, following Raisi's trip to Moscow, "a positive atmosphere for mutual cooperation between the two countries" has been created, according to the Iranian news agency IRNA. 

: El presidente ruso Vladimir Putin, a la izquierda, y el presidente iraní Ebrahim Raisi, a la derecha, se reúnen en el Kremlin en Moscú, Rusia, el 19 de enero de 2022 Pavel Bednyakov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Pavel Bednyakov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Kremlin on 19 January 2022

"During the trip, agreements were signed, President Raisi initiated a new chapter in Iran-Russia economic relations and assured the Russians that the government of the Islamic Republic is serious about economic cooperation with Russia," he added. Moreover, according to Pour-Ebrahimi, US and European sanctions against Moscow have prompted Russia to increase its economic cooperation with Iran.

Good relations between Moscow and Tehran could go beyond the economic sphere, as the US says Iran is preparing to send drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine.