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Russia, Turkey seek greater engagement amid US sanctions

Russia plans to lift visa requirements for some Turks and to begin delivery of the S-400 missile-defense system to Turkey next year in an attempt to further sway Ankara away from the United States.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu attend a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RC14B67E5FF0

As tensions between Washington and Ankara continue to grow, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised “to start looking for new friends and allies.” Among the possible candidates that Turkey’s president sees is Moscow. On Aug. 10, the same day US President Donald Trump introduced new higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, Erdogan called Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders discussed economic and trade ties.

On Aug. 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Turkey. At a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Lavrov said the United States is abandoning diplomacy in favor of “sanctions and blackmail.”

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