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BREAKING: Putin’s First NATO Visit in Four Years Postponed: Report

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first visit with a NATO nation in four years was postponed on Friday, according to a report.

Tass, a Russian state-run news agency, reported that a diplomatic source in Turkey confirmed a report that Putin’s visit to the NATO nation is off. The visit was reportedly scheduled for February 12 and would have marked Putin’s first visit to a NATO country since 2020.

The report from Tass comes shortly after one of Putin’s top advisers, Yuri Ushakov, told the Interfax news agency that the Russian president was planning to travel to Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“A visit is being prepared,” Ushakov told Interfax. “I can say that Ukrainian issues will probably be one of the main subjects of negotiations.”
Vladimir Putin
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik on February 9, 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with members of the Security Council via videoconference at the Kremlin in Moscow. On… SERGEY ILYIN/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

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The war between Russia and Ukraine is nearing the two-year mark since Putin announced the “special military operation” on February 24, 2022. Turkey helped host peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul in 2022.

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In September, Tass reported that Putin and Erdoğan met in Sochi, Russia, and discussed the war.

“We are determined to continue our efforts to establish lasting peace, stability and prosperity in our region,” Erdoğan said following the meeting, Tass reported. “We have previously acted as a host country for direct talks between the parties to the conflict. We are, as before, ready to do our best in this matter and act as a mediator.”

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On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Tass that he was unable to confirm reports that Putin’s meeting with Erdoğan in Turkey was postponed but said: “We continue to prepare for contacts at the highest level. The dates will be agreed upon.”

While delivering a speech at the end of 2023, Putin spoke about the possible meeting in Turkey, saying that it “may take place at the beginning of next year.”

“I think we’ll be able to meet,” Putin said. “I am planning this, indeed. I actually planned this recently, but it didn’t work out for President Erdoğan because of his schedule. Although I was prepared to fly to Turkey.”

NATO has continued to criticize Russia’s war with Ukraine, calling for peace between the two sides.

Putin recently sat down in Russia for an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. They spoke about an array of issues, including the war in Ukraine and NATO’s role in providing aid to Ukraine.

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During the interview, Putin recalled a conversation he had with former President Bill Clinton during which he asked if Russia would be accepted in NATO. According to Putin, Clinton initially said it was a possibility but later said it was not likely to happen.

“If he had said yes, the process of rapprochement would have commenced, and eventually it might have happened if we had seen some sincere wish on the side of our partners. But it didn’t happen,” Putin said during the interview.

Newsweek reached out to the ministries of foreign affairs in Russia and Turkey via email for comment.
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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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