During an interview with US broadcaster PBS, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his views on relations between Turkey, Russia and the West. He emphasized: “There is no reason not to trust them (Russia). Russia is just as credible as the West. We have been waiting at the door of the European Union for the last half century. And now I trust Russia as much as I trust the West.”
These comments came after a recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Although Erdogan failed to persuade Putin to revive the grain agreement that would ensure the safe transport of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, he highlighted the economic ties between the two countries.
Deep economic ties with Russia
According to Erdogan, Russia has promised Turkey that it will deliver one million tons of grain to Africa. He also pointed to the deep economic ties between Turkey and Russia, noting that half of Turkey’s natural gas imports come from Russia and both countries cooperate in the defense industry.
As reported by PBS, Erdogan’s statements generated international attention, particularly given the current geopolitical tensions surrounding Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.