• The Russian chief additionally meets the principle Iranian President
  • Discusses Ukraine’s grain exports with Turkey’s Erdogan
  • The Turkish menace to the Syrian operation can also be in focus

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran on Tuesday, the primary go to by a Kremlin chief outdoors the previous Soviet Union since Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

In Tehran, Putin additionally held his first face-to-face assembly for the reason that invasion with NATO chief, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to debate a deal that may restart Ukrainian grain exports within the Black Sea in addition to the battle in northern Syria.

Putin’s journey, which comes simply days after US President Joe Biden’s go to to Israel and Saudi Arabia, sends a powerful message to the West about Moscow’s plans for nearer strategic ties with Iran, China and India within the face of Western sanctions.

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Khamenei referred to as for long-term cooperation between Iran and Russia, and informed Putin that the 2 international locations must be vigilant in opposition to “Western deception,” Iranian state tv reported.

He stated Putin assured Russia to “protect its independence” from the USA and that international locations ought to begin utilizing their nationwide currencies when buying and selling items.

“The greenback should be withdrawn regularly from world commerce and this may be finished regularly,” Khamenei stated in the course of the assembly in a white room with an Iranian flag and an image of late revolutionary chief Ayatollah Khomeini.

And regardless of the struggling of odd folks within the warfare, Khamenei stated that Moscow doesn’t have an ideal various in Ukraine. “When you had not taken the initiative, the opposite facet (the West) would have brought about a warfare by itself initiative,” he informed Putin.

Washington stated Putin’s journey to Tehran demonstrated Russia’s isolation within the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. Learn extra

beneath sanctions

For Iran, which can also be irritated by Western financial sanctions and at odds with the USA over Tehran’s nuclear program and a number of different points, Putin’s go to is well timed.

Non secular leaders within the Islamic Republic are eager to bolster strategic ties with Russia in opposition to an rising US-backed Arab-Israeli Gulf bloc that might shift the stability of energy within the Center East away from Iran.

Inspired by excessive oil costs for the reason that Ukraine warfare, Iran is betting that it could, with Russia’s help, press Washington to make concessions with a view to revive the 2015 nuclear cope with world powers.

Nonetheless, Russia’s rising tilt towards Beijing in current months has led to a big drop in Iranian crude exports to China – a significant income for Tehran since then-US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions in 2018.

In Could, Reuters reported that Iran’s crude oil exports to China fell sharply as Beijing favored closely discounted Russian barrels, leaving almost 40 million barrels of Iranian oil saved on tankers at sea in Asia and searching for consumers.

Earlier than Putin’s arrival, the Nationwide Iranian Oil Firm (NIOC) and Russian gasoline producer Gazprom (GAZP.MM) Signing a memorandum of understanding value about $40 billion. Learn extra

Syria and Ukraine

Putin, Erdogan and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi additionally studied efforts to scale back violence in Syria, the place Turkey has threatened extra army operations to increase “protected zones” 30 kilometers deep alongside the border. Moscow and Tehran oppose any such motion by Turkey.

“Preserving Syria’s territorial integrity is essential and any army assault in northern Syria will definitely hurt Turkey, Syria and your entire area and profit the terrorists,” Khamenei informed Erdogan earlier than the tripartite assembly.

Russia and Iran are the strongest backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whereas Turkey helps the anti-Assad rebels.

A Turkish operation in Syria would assault the Kurdish Folks’s Safety Models (YPG), which is a key a part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that controls giant components of northern Syria and is seen by Washington as an vital ally in opposition to Islamic State militants.

“It’s not possible to count on Turkey to stay inactive and unresponsive as a result of this terrorist group continues its separatist agenda,” Erdogan stated, referring to the Kurdish Folks’s Safety Models.

“I hear from you, my pricey associates, that you just perceive Turkey’s authentic safety considerations. I’m grateful for this, however phrases alone are usually not a treatment for wounds.”

Talking on the finish of the talks, Putin stated the three presidents agreed to proceed consultations on Syria and dedicated to persevering with efforts to “normalize” the state of affairs there after a decade of battle.

Putin, who turns 70 this yr, has made fairly just a few overseas journeys lately because of the COVID-19 pandemic after which the Ukraine disaster. His final journey outdoors the previous Soviet Union to China was in February.

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are anticipated to signal an settlement later this week geared toward resuming grain shipments from Ukraine by means of the Black Sea. Learn extra

“Together with your mediation, we moved ahead,” Putin informed Erdogan after their bilateral assembly. “Not all points are resolved but, however the truth that there may be actually good motion.”

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Further reporting by Orhan Koskun and Tuvan Gumrucu in Ankara; Written by Man Faulconbridge, Parisa Hafezi and Dominic Evans; Modifying by Mark Heinrich and Rosalba O’Brien

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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