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Kremlin: Putin postpones meeting Erdoğan in Turkey to after elections

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed a planned trip to Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan until after the upcoming Russian presidential elections, the Kremlin said on Monday.

“The president has a rather full and intensive schedule until the elections, and Mr Erdoğan’s is also very full,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists after being asked about the trip, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

However, preparations for the meeting, initially scheduled for February, continue, he added.

Russia’s presidential elections will take place in March, with Putin widely expected to be confirmed in office for a further six years.

A visit to Turkey would be Putin’s first trip to a NATO member state since launching the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Putin, against whom an arrest warrant has been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague over suspected war crimes in Ukraine, rarely travels abroad these days.

On Monday, Putin and Erdoğan spoke on the phone on occasion of the Turkish president’s 70th birthday, according to the Kremlin. The Russian president praised Erdoğan’s commitment to Turkish-Russian relations, it said.

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