Turkish-Russian cooperation essential for peace in Syria: Erdoğan
The peace in Syria depends on the cooperation between Ankara and Moscow, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 29, emphasizing the benefits of ties which he said are getting stronger.
Erdoğan met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sept. 29 at the latter’s official residence in the resort town of Sochi.
“In particular, there are great benefits in continuing Turkey-Russia relations by strengthening it day by day. The steps we take together regarding Syria are of great importance. The peace of the region also depends on the relations between Turkey and Russia,” Erdoğan said, speaking to reporters at the beginning of the discussions.
Regarding Turkey’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems, Erdoğan said: “In the United Nations General Assembly, certain individuals have always asked us about certain issues. We have already given them the necessary answer. Because it is impossible for us to go back from the steps we have taken.”
Expressing his thanks to Putin for his support in the fight against the fires in Turkey, Erdoğan conveyed his condolences to Russian pilots who lost their lives during the firefighting efforts last summer. “Real friends are evident in such difficult days,” Erdoğan said.
Pointing out that Turkey-Russia relations manifest themselves in very different ways in the political, military, economic and commercial fields, Erdoğan said: “Although there are some ups and downs in the trade volume, it is in a very good situation right now. I believe it will come to an even better position, especially in tourism.”
“I would like to thank you very much for the support. We are also grateful for the preference of our Russian friends in Turkey,” he added.
Erdoğan recalled that the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant was under construction and that it would be completed at the appointed time.
“I think next year we will be able to inaugurate the first unit. There is a lot of work. There are 13,000 people working here right now. 10,000 of them Turks, 3,000 of them are Russians, but almost all of them received education in Russia. This, of course, also strengthens the relations between us,” he stated.
Cooperation with Turkey successfully continues in int'l arena
The cooperation between Turkey and Russia continues “successfully” in the international arena, Putin said for his part, adding, “Here I mean our attitudes towards both Syria and Libya.”
Cooperation between Turkey, Russia is important to ensure truce and permanent peace in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region, he noted.
“Our talks with Turkey are sometimes difficult, but it always ends with a positive result; we have learned to find a compromise,” Putin said.
He noted that the European natural gas market is going through a shaky period, but Turkey feels safe after the launch of TurkStream.
Touching on economic relations between Ankara and Moscow, Putin said Turkey’s investment in Russia had reached $1.5 billion and that Russia’s investment in Turkey currently stood at $6.5 billion.
Major investment projects between the two countries continue as planned and bilateral trade between them has increased by 50 percent in the first nine months this year, making up for previous losses and achieving a major rise amid the coronavirus pandemic, Putin said on the investments in Sochi, where the meeting was taking place.
The Turkish president is accompanied by the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, Hakan Fidan, Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın.