One-year halt in Turkey, Russia ties ‘over’: Turkish PM
AA photoA year-long hiatus in relations between Russia and Turkey is over, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said Dec. 6 in his first visit to Moscow as prime minister.
“We see altogether that an unfortunate one-year period is over,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Yıldırım as saying during the open part of his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow.
“We can bring our strategic relationship to an even better point than before by utilizing the adverse experience this past year has brought us,” he added.
Relations between Russia and Turkey soured last year after a Russian warplane was brought down by Turkish jets on the Syrian border for an alleged airspace violation on Nov. 24, after which the Kremlin imposed a raft of sanctions on Turkey.
Yıldırım said relations with Moscow had faced a “test” but added: “Thanks to mutual political will, we have endured the difficult situation.”
He recalled the “normalization process” which started on Aug. 9 following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in St. Petersburg.
“Due to the nature of the region, we [as Russia, as Turkey] have a crucial duty. At the same time we have responsibility [in the region],” Yıldırım added.
Speaking alongside Medvedev in a joint press conference on Dec. 6, Yıldırım said the dialogue and coordination between Turkey and Russia was better than before, especially on military diplomatic affairs.
Medvedev, for his part, said the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, which was signed on Oct. 10 between Turkey and Russia, would soon be ratified in Russia, too. This statement came hours after the Turkish Stream agreement entered into force in Turkey when it was published in the Official Gazette on Dec. 6 after being passed in parliament and approved by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Medvedev also said a joint investment fund would be established with Turkey in order to provide financing for various projects and to produce joint projects in third-party countries.
Russia and Turkey have the potential to boost bilateral trade and economic ties, including via the implementation of big projects, Medvedev said at the beginning of the bilateral talks with his Turkish counterpart, according to TASS News Agency.
According to Medvedev, the two countries have historically had an impressive volume of trade ties, even if they have declined recently.
“We are able to boost them and implement big joint projects, which are numerous,” he said, adding that the meeting between the prime ministers was aimed at “boosting economic, investment, humanitarian cooperation in all sectors.”
Yıldırım also met the chairwoman of the Council of the Federation, Valentina Matviyenko.