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Putin visit to Turkiye postponed

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Putin visit to Turkiye postponed

Photo: CNN

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Turkiye today has been postponed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has yet to state why. Putin’s travel has been restricted because of a warrant for his arrest issued by the International Criminal Court; however, Turkiye—although a member of NATO—is not a party to the Rome Statute which establishes the jurisdiction of the Court. It would have been Putin’s first visit to a NATO member state since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The postponement was not likely intended to be a slight as Moscow has a strong interest in maintaining good relations with Ankara. Although Turkiye has supported Ukrainian territorial sovereignty and provided military aid to Kyiv, Turkiye has also opposed sanctions against Russia. The countries have lucrative bilateral economic relations in tourism, energy and agriculture, among others. Moscow also entrusted Ankara with brokering the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) until Russia withdrew from it last July.

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In the short-term, expect Putin to reschedule and visit Ankara to discuss bilateral economic and political relations. In the medium-term, Moscow will continue to use the threat of cutting economic ties to tempt Anakara away from NATO support of Ukraine. Expect a similar veiled threat from Turkiye to persuade Russia to restore the BSGI.

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