Time, place of meeting of Russian, Turkish presidents to be set via diplomatic channels: Kremlin

Time, place of meeting of Russian, Turkish presidents to be set via diplomatic channels: Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov says during Wednesday phone call, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed their intention to meet 'soon'

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – The details of a meeting between the Russian and Turkish presidents, including the time, place, and date, will be coordinated via diplomatic channels, a Kremlin spokesman said Thursday.

"In general, the presidents confirmed their intention to meet soon” during a Wednesday phone call between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Dmitry Peskov told a press briefing in Moscow. “But the venue of the meeting and the timing of this meeting will continue to be agreed through diplomatic channels."

Peskov also decried remarks by top EU diplomat Josep Borrell, who accused Russia of trying to create dependence on its grain among developing countries.

"This is absolutely not the case. Russia has always been and remains – with known problems – a reliable supplier. ... Russia fulfills all its obligations," he stressed.

He added pointedly that Russia could more fully satisfy the growing demand for grain "if it were not for the sanctions, restrictions” on its exports, which he called “illegal from the point of view of international law.”

On remarks by Oleksiy Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, who confirmed Ukraine's involvement in attacks on the bridge connecting mainland Russia with the Crimean Peninsula, Peskov said: "We talked about this both the first time and the second time. We had such information, we knew it."

The Kerch Bridge was attacked twice over the past year, last October and this July.

On Thursday, Danilov said in an interview: "Our military is questioning the inviolability of many objects that were considered 100% protected in Russia. This is also the Crimean Bridge, which was directly discussed by representatives of the Security Service who took part in the first and second cases."

Turning to the possible expansion of the BRICS economic bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – Peskov said it "a subject for discussion."

"We do not think that we need to get ahead of ourselves and before they (discussions) take place between the BRICS member states, we should declare our position. In any case, we are talking about countries with which we have quite constructive cooperation in various fields," he noted.

He said Russia's position in general is that in one form or another, the expansion of BRICS will contribute to the further development and strengthening of the organization.

"In what form and to what extent, we will discuss during the upcoming summit," he added.

Peskov was skeptical of the possibility of the establishment of a single currency in the BRICS and other associations, saying it is unlikely in the near future.

"Many countries gravitate towards the trajectory of using national currencies in mutual settlements, and, of course, expert discussions are also underway about the possibility, expediency and feasibility of plans to introduce a national currency of some integration processes," he said.

In January Brazilian President Lula da Silva urged BRICS countries to think about creating common BRICS currencies and the South American Common Market.

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