Turkey and Russia share common attitudes in their foreign policies as a result of a “strategic perspective” that has put a stamp on the two countries’ recent ties, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a meeting with Russia’s president yesterday.
“This strategic vision contributes to regional peace, wealth and stability and, in this respect, we place emphasis on our relations with Russia,” Erdoğan told a press conference in Istanbul yesterday after signing an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Our multi-dimensional [agreement] on the Black Sea Basin is the best example of the strategic perspective between the two countries,” Erdoğan said.
“Our goal is to reach $100 billion dollars [in mutual trade volume]. After reaching $35 billion this year, I believe that we will reach $100 billion and even exceed it,” Erdoğan said.
Putin also said they expected the trade volume to reach $100 billion in the upcoming years.
The prime minister said trade relations with Russia had increased seven times since his party came to power, adding that Russia was Turkey’s second largest trade partner. “Our trade volume was $30 billion in 2011 and has been $24 billion between January and September of 2013,” he said, expressing hope that it would reach $35 billion by the end of the year.
Turkish entrepreneurs have made investments of more than $10 billion in Russia, said Erdoğan.
He also said Turkish construction companies have taken on 1,400 projects worth $40 billion in Russia. Erdoğan also praised Russia’s $700 million capital flow to Turkey for the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project, but they are hoping to increase the figure to $800 million.
As part of the third Turkey-Russia High Level Cooperation Council, the pair signed the middle-term program of the improvement perspective for the period between 2012 and 2015, as well as 11 related agreements, Erdoğan said.
Both leaders also agreed to restore cemeteries for fallen soldiers.
After the lifting of visas last year, cultural and touristic ties are also expected to increase, Erdoğan said.
Speaking of common foreign policies with Russia, Erdoğan said he appreciated Moscow’s support for Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly and added that both Moscow and Ankara wanted to see peace and stability restored in Syria.