Erdoğan, Putin hold phone call after Trump doubles tariffs on steel and aluminum

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the 10th Brics Summit on July 26, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (AFP Photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the 10th Brics Summit on July 26, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (AFP Photo)

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a phone call Friday after U.S. President Trump announced that he had authorized higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, with a 20 percent duty on aluminum and 50 percent on steel.

Erdoğan and Putin expressed their content regarding the positive economic and trade relations between the two countries.

The two leaders also discussed the ongoing Syrian crisis and recent developments regarding the Astana process.

The two countries, along with Iran, have been in close cooperation in Syria as they launched Astana talks in last year to find a permanent solution to the 7-year-old Syrian civil war.

Earlier on Friday, Trump took to Twitter and said that Turkey-U.S. relations "are not good at this time" after making his fresh tarffis announcement.

His announcement came shortly after Finance Minister Berat Albayrak gave details about Turkey's new economic approach, saying that it will be decisive, sustainable and based on a "strategic mentality."

In June, the United States imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports from Turkey.

Russia has also long been targeted by U.S. economic sanctions. The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that Washington made the determination this week that Moscow had used the Novichok nerve agent to poison ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury and that new sanctions would follow later this month. Russia, on the other hand, has strongly denied involvement in the poisoning.

Amid new U.S. sanctions that has been imposed on both countries, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Ankara on Aug. 13-14, to discuss bilateral and regional topics, along with the situation in Syria, the Astana process, the quartet meeting in Istanbul and the Ankara-Moscow deal on the purchase of the S-400 air defense system.

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