West News Wire: Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to arrive in Tehran for discussions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Since the beginning of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine on February 24, it will be his second trip abroad. He traveled to Turkmenistan and Tajikistan in late June to meet with the leaders of those nations and take part in the sixth Caspian Summit, which also included Iran.

The so-called Astana Peace Process, which was started by Moscow, Tehran, and Ankara in 2017 with the goal of seeking a peaceful resolution to the war in Syria, will be the context for the trilateral talks that will take place in the Iranian capital.

According to the Kremlin, the three heads of state will discuss steps to fully eradicate the hotbed of international terrorism in the country, the facilitation of the inter-Syrian peace process and solutions to humanitarian issues, including post-conflict reconstruction.

Putin, Raisi and Erdogan will issue a joint statement after the negotiations, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on Monday, adding that its draft had already been prepared.

Bilateral talks between the leaders will also take place, while Putin is also expected to meet with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

During those meetings, the Russian president and his interlocutors will discuss the situation around the stalled talks on restoring the Iranian nuclear deal.

Trade will also be on the agenda, with Moscow and Tehran preparing a new major cooperation deal, Ushakov said.

“Iran is an important partner of Russia. Our relations are friendly, have a centuries-old history, and are developing very effectively in many areas. Both sides have plans to take bilateral cooperation to a new level the level of strategic partnership,” he pointed out.

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Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, who earlier gave an interview to the Iranian media, said trade between Russia and Iran had surpassed $4 billion in 2021, and grew by 31% in the first four months of this year.

With Russia and Iran being among the most sanctioned nations in the world, Peskov expressed confidence that the two countries would be able to build relations that will allow them to minimize the effect of international restrictions on their economies.

When it comes to Ukraine, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made it clear that Tehran would not provide assistance to any of the sides of the conflict as it believes that the conflict “has to be stopped.” By saying so, the minister refuted the US claims that his country was planning to provide Russia with hundreds of drones, including combat drones.

At the same time, Raisi has said on multiple occasions that Tehran stands ready to contribute to a diplomatic resolution of the Ukrainian conflict.

Ushakov predicts that the subject of Ukrainian grain shipments from Black Sea ports would come up during Putin and Erdogan’s bilateral meeting. Turkey has been involved in a number of conflict-resolution initiatives and declares itself to be a neutral nation with regard to the situation in Ukraine. Recent global negotiations on the grain issue were held there with the participation of the UN, Russia, and Ukraine.

One of the key topics of the phone call between Putin and Erdogan last week included food security. “It was time for the United Nations to take action for the proposal for the establishment of secure corridors via the Black Sea,” the Turkish leader remarked at the time.

Istanbul hosted a significant round of peace talks in March between Kiev and Moscow.


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