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Putin Meets With Erdogan in Ankara

FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands, Istanbul, Dec. 3, 2012.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived Monday in Turkey's capital Ankara, where he is holding talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likely to focus on trade ties and regional issues.

Turkey is the second largest buyer of Russian natural gas after Germany. Around 60 percent of Turkey's natural gas imports come from Russia, which is also set to build Turkey's first nuclear plant.

Still, the two countries have sharp foreign policy differences, including over the civil war in Syria. Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Erdogan has pressed for the Syrian leader's ouster.

Turkey also opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine earlier this year, and has expressed concern over the treatment of Crimean Tatars, a Turkic minority, since Moscow took control of the peninsula.

Both Putin and Erdogan are accused by their critics of ruling in an authoritarian manner.

Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters.