Russian President Vladimir Putin Visits Iran in Rare International Trip Since Invasion of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Iran on July 19 in a rare international trip since he sent his forces to invade Ukraine in February.

Putin met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a summit as he seeks to show that he still has international allies.

“We are strengthening our cooperation on international security issues, making a significant contribution to the settlement of the Syrian conflict,” Putin said, in a bilateral meeting with Raisi, as quoted by CNN.

The three presidents also discussed unblocking Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian government has accused Russia of blocking the shipment of over 20 million tons of grain to countries around the world.

Turkey has been trying to negotiate an end to the grain blockade.

Putin thanked Erdogan for the mediation, saying that “we have moved forward.”

Putin also met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on July 19.

“A trusting dialogue has developed between them on the most important issues on the bilateral and international agenda,” Putin’s Foreign Policy Adviser Yuri Ushakov said, as quoted by Sky News.

Khamenei said that the mutual cooperation between Iran and Russia was “deeply beneficial” and said that they should strengthen their ties.

Khamenei also suggested that the West was to blame for the war in Ukraine and that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had to be “stopped.”

“If the way is opened for NATO, it will recognize no limits. If it hadn’t been stopped in Ukraine, it would have later started a similar war in Crimea,” Khamenei said.

Also on July 19, the National Iranian Oil Company signed a $40 billion agreement with Russian state-run gas company Gazprom, Iran’s oil ministry news agency SHANA reported.

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