Russian President Vladimir Putin flew to Istanbul on Tuesday after a brief visit to Damascus where he met with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad.
Vladimir Putin held a one-on-one meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Wednesday discussing a number of issues including the recent US assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and its potential consequences.
Besides the killing of Soleimani, Putin used the occasion to talk about the conflicts in Syria and Libya as well as bilateral relations.
Following the talks, the two presidents left for the ceremonial launch of the TurkStream gas pipeline. Wednesday’s ceremony will also be attended by the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Both Balkan countries will be major recipients of gas coming through TurkStream.
The double-branch pipeline with a total annual capacity of 31.5 billion cubic metres runs from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea. The parallel pipelines will ship gas for Turkish and European consumption.