Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu discussed bilateral relations and regional developments in a phone conversation with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, a statement by the ministry said Friday.
Turkey and Russia, which back opposing sides in Syria’s war, once again agreed on March 5, 2020, to halt military activity in the northwestern Idlib region after an escalation of violence brought the two sides close to confrontation. As part of the agreement, Turkish and Russian forces have been carrying out joint patrols along the M4 highway linking Syria’s east and west, establishing a security corridor on either side.
Ankara and Moscow are the main power brokers in Libya’s war and have been holding talks on a lasting cease-fire and political settlement. Russia supports the eastern-based forces of putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, while Turkey helped the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) repel Haftar’s offensive, which paved the way for the establishment of an interim unity government until general elections are held in December.
The two countries also cooperate at the defense industry level, as Turkey bought S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.
Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States were badly strained over Ankara's acquisition of the advanced S-400 Russian air defense system, prompting Washington to remove Turkey from its F-35 Lightning II jet program.
The U.S. argued that the system could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets and is incompatible with NATO systems. Turkey, however, insists that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.
Previous talks between Turkey and the U.S. on the purchase of U.S.-made Patriots collapsed over a host of issues, from the S-400s to Ankara's dissatisfaction with Washington's terms. Turkey has said it will only agree to an offer if it includes a technology transfer and joint production terms.
Meanwhile, Turkey is against Russia’s annexation of Crime and has been supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity against Russian aggression.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has been accused by Kyiv and its allies of supporting pro-Moscow separatists in two eastern regions.
Turkey is one of the most active supporters of the Crimea issue on the international level, Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova also said, expressing her hope that the Crimean Platform will strengthen global efforts for the liberation of the region.
The Crimean Platform is a new consultative and coordination format initiated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the rapid de-occupation of Crimea and to increase pressure on Russia.
Turkey was among the first countries to voice support for the Crimean Platform that was held on Aug. 23.