Putin's Visit to Iran
Russia-Iran-Turkey Trilateral Summit:
- On Tuesday, July 19, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran to meet with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- This was Putin’s first visit outside of the former Soviet Union and his first face-to-face meeting with a leader of a NATO member state since the invasion of Ukraine.
- The trilateral summit held between the three countries focused on the current state of Syria.
- Iran and Russia reiterated their concerns regarding a potential Turkish operation in northern Syria.
- Putin, in words later echoed by Raisi, conveyed the necessity to allow Syrians to determine their own country's future with no outside influence.
- The three countries announced that they intend to hold another trilateral summit by the end of 2022.
- Putin also held bilateral talks with leaders from both countries, discussing non-Syria related concerns such as the war in Ukraine and the Black Sea blockade.
Russia-Iran Bilateral Talks:
- Ayatollah Khamenei applauded Putin’s “initiative” in standing up against NATO expansion. He stated that if Russia had not initiated the war, NATO would have caused the outbreak themselves.
- Iran and Russia further discussed growing their bilateral economic activities and weakening the role of the U.S. dollar in those transactions.
- An example is the $40bn agreement signed by Russia’s Gazprom and Iran’s NIOC to further gas exploration and export in Iran.
Russia-Turkey Bilateral Talks:
- Putin and Erdogan discussed implications of the Russia-Ukraine war, including the global grain crisis resulting from blockades in the Black Sea region.
- While Turkey has expressed support for Ukraine, even selling the country military drones, it has simultaneously contested the scope of Western sanctions on Moscow and maintained economic ties with Russia.
- Reflecting upon his talks with Erdogan, Putin asserted that progress was made in resolving Ukraine’s grain export issue, although not all problems have been resolved.