Turkey’s top economic policymakers are visiting Russia for meetings on Monday, a source said, travelling along with President Tayyip Erdogan who will meet Kremlin Chief Vladimir Putin to discuss Black Sea grain exports.
The source, a Turkish official who requested anonymity, said Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and Hafize Gaye Erkan, the Central Bank Governor, will attend meetings in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Erdogan is to meet Putin.
The travels of Simsek and Erkan – who were named to their roles in June to orchestrate a U-turn to more orthodox economic policies – had not been previously announced. It was unclear which officials they would meet and what would be discussed. The central bank declined to comment.
When the leaders meet later on Monday, Erdogan aims to convince Putin to return to the Ukraine grain-export deal. Moscow pulled out in July. NATO member Turkey has close ties with both Moscow and Kyiv. It has opposed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while also opposing Western sanctions on Moscow and has advanced economic cooperation with Russia since the invasion early last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2023.