‘Sweet payback’: Putin kept waiting by Erdogan ahead of meeting in Iran

TEHRAN, IRAN – JULY 19: Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen ahead of a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (not seen) at Tehran International Conference Hall in Tehran, Iran on July 19, 2022. (Photo by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

‘Sweet payback’: Putin kept waiting by Erdogan ahead of meeting in Iran

Cami Mondeaux

July 19, 07:22 PM July 19, 07:45 PM

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Russian President Vladimir Putin was left awkwardly standing in front of cameras while waiting to meet with his Turkish counterpart, getting a taste of his own power tactic.

Video posted to Twitter shows Putin looking frazzled as he waited for nearly one minute for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to arrive for their meeting in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday. Once Ergodan walked in, Putin shrugged before smirking and walking over to give him a handshake.

What was widely viewed as a waiting game on social media highlights a back-and-forth of similar incidents between Putin and Erdogan over the years. Joyce Karam, senior correspondent for the National, called it “sweet payback” for Erdogan after Putin left the Turkish leader waiting for around two minutes before a meeting in 2020.

The meeting in Iran marks only the second known time Putin has traveled abroad since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Leaders met to discuss the conflict in Syria and how to restart exports of Ukrainian grain to ease the global food crisis that has been incurred since the war began. Putin also met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi.


Turkey has found itself on the opposite end of warfare as Russia in conflicts in Syria and Libya, but the country hasn’t imposed sanctions on Moscow — making it a crucial ally as several Western nations have imposed punishments on Russia after the full-scale Ukraine invasion began.

The meeting Tuesday was also a way for Putin to signal international partnerships, lauding his relationship with Iran during the meeting.

“Our relations are developing at a good pace,” Putin said. “[We have worked to] strengthen their cooperation on international security and contribute significantly to the Syrian settlement.”

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Putin announced he would make the trip last week, prompting concerns from national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who said U.S. intelligence indicates that the “Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” to assist the country with its war efforts in Ukraine.

Sullivan also warned that Iran is planning to train Russian troops to use the new weapons as early as this month.

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