By Guy Faulconbridge and Parisa Hafezi
Jul 20, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin had talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran on Tuesday, the Kremlin leader’s first trip outside the former Soviet Union since Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
In Tehran, Putin also held his first face-to-face meeting since the invasion with a NATO leader, Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss a deal that would resume Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports as well as the conflict in northern Syria.
Putin’s trip, coming just days after U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel and Saudi Arabia, sends a strong message to the West about Moscow’s plans to forge closer strategic ties with Iran, China and India in the face of Western sanctions.
Khamenei called for long-term cooperation between Iran and Russia, telling Putin that the two countries needed to stay vigilant against “Western deception”, Iran’s state TV reported.
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