Putin and Erdogan meet to discuss grain deal amid ‘shifting power balance’

Putin and Erdogan meet to discuss grain deal amid ‘shifting power balance’

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss a potential grain deal between the two countries. The leaders are expected to discuss a variety of issues, including economic cooperation, trade, energy, and regional security.

The meeting comes as the two countries have sought to improve their relations following a period of tensions in the wake of Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane in 2015. In recent years, Ankara has been pushing for increased economic ties with Russia, and while the talks could mark a new chapter in the cooperation between the two countries, analysts caution that the shifting power balance between them could complicate matters.

Russia is the world’s leading exporter of wheat, and Turkey ranks among the top importers, making a grain deal between them a logical choice. However, a number of issues have hindered the deal from being finalized, including concerns over Turkish purchases from the European Union and pricing disagreements. The two leaders are expected to attempt to bridge these divides and potentially reach a deal.

Aside from the potential grain deal, Putin and Erdogan are expected to discuss the wider regional situation in Syria, Libya, and the Caucasus. As two of the key regional actors involved in the many conflicts throughout the region, the two sides’ increasingly close cooperation could have a major impact on how these conflicts play out in the long-term.

The meeting serves as a further reminder of the shifting power dynamics in the Middle East and is an important step forward in bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia. It will be closely watched by regional and international powers alike.