Turkey, Russia, and Iran talk about Syria / Putin eyes victory in Russian election / British foreign secretary meets his Polish counterpart

By Billy

Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Foreign ministers from Turkey, Russia, and Iran talk about Syria

Officials from Turkey, Russia, and Iran will meet in Kazakhstan today to talk about Syria, though notably missing at the table will be the Syrian government and opposition forces.

Foreign ministers from the three countries say they want to to end the violence and improve the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country.

Today’s talks — which began in Kazakhstan capital Astana in January last year — follow weeks of heavy bombardment near Damascus and Turkey’s continued military operations in northern Syria.

The Syrian government’s bombardment in Eastern Ghouta that started on 18 February killed nearly 800 in the space of 10 days, according to Doctors Without Borders.

Vladimir Putin eyes another six years of power in Russian election

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to win another six-year term in presidential elections on Sunday.

If Putin is re-elected for the fourth time until 2024 he will become Russia’s longest serving ruler since Stalin.

Putin has little in the way of competition — but he wants a high turnout to secure his legitimacy. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was barred from running in December over a conviction of fraud in a court case his supporters see as politically motivated.

However, the pro-Kremlin Russian Public Opinion Research Centre registered a dip in support for Putin in Moscow and St Petersburg to 57% last month.

UK foreign minister Boris Johnson meets Polish minister Czaputowicz

The UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will host Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz for a working breakfast at British air force base Northolt today.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki earlier this week added his voice to international calls for Russia, Poland’s former master, to address the UK’s questions around the attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in the UK.

Meanwhile, London is expected to raise the issue at the European Union level when foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Monday, Politico’s Playbook reports.

Johnson is then expected to brief officials on the evidence British police have collected — while Nato already knows some of the details.