Putin praises common values with Turkey on Syrian crisis
AP photoRussian President Vladimir Putin has praised the relations between his country and Turkey, saying the two countries share the same priorities regarding settling the situation in Syria and the region.
“It is true that the two countries have different views on the ways to resolve the crisis in Syria. But the important thing is that Russia and Turkey share the same priorities; we both stand for settling the situation in the region and effectively combating terrorism,” said Putin in an interview on Nov. 13 with Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency and Russian Interfax.
“With this in mind, the existing differences should not hamper our bilateral relations. On the contrary, in looking for the common ground, we draw upon a vast experience of constructive cooperation between our countries,” he added.
Turkey opposes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad staying in power, saying he should leave his post for a peaceful solution to be sought in the war-torn country, while Russia supports al-Assad and his forces inside the country.
Commenting on the future of the relations between the two countries, Putin said Turkey’s independent stance to not impose sanctions on Russia, even though the U.S. and the European Union had, deserved great respect.
“Such an independent policy pursued by Ankara to meet its national foreign policy interests deserves great respect,” Putin said.
Putin said the Turkish Stream project was not going at a slow pace, contrary to what has been commonly thought, as “such a large-scale project cannot be developed and agreed to overnight.”
“The main thing is that this project is fully in the interests of both Russia and Turkey. We are one on this with my Turkish colleague [President] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Putin said.
“I would like to note that we will continue to be a strategic and reliable energy supplier to Turkey and Europe, and that we have everything necessary for this,” he added.
Meanwhile, Putin’s Turkish counterpart, Erdoğan, said in an interview CNN International on Nov. 12 that Russia was not being sensitive about the Syrian crisis, as they bombed the moderate opposition in Syria.
“Russia, being one of them [friendly countries], Russia is actually bombing the moderate opposition. We have the Bayırbucak Turks, they are victims of those bombardments right now in Syria and these are the issues we had reminded Putin of and these are the issues we were expecting some sort of heightened level of sensitivity over,” said Erdoğan.
“But that sensitivity is still not to be found. It is nowhere to be found,” Erdoğan added.