Erdoğan, Putin discuss Syria, return of Russian citizens

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has discussed the situation in Syria and the implications of the coronavirus pandemic with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone, said state run Anadolu news agency

During the meeting the leaders discussed ways to repatriate Russian citizens stranded in Turkey due to the coronavirus, said Anadolu on Wednesday.

The two leaders also exchanged views on Idlib, northwest Syria, including the implementation of the Russian-Turkish ceasefire of March 5 to end the fighting in the province between Turkish-backed forces and the Syrian military, which is backed by Russia. 

Turkey and Russia launched joint military patrols earlier this month along the M4 highway in Idlib as part of the agreement.

Erdoğan and Putin also discussed bilateral economic cooperation, as well as the civil war in Libya – in which Turkey and Russia also back different warring sides. 

Erdoğan also spoke with the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy on the phone, said Anadolu. The leaders discussed bilateral relations and cooperation in the efforts to contain the coronavirus.