The co-chair of Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has said he will be traveling to Moscow to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Dec. 23.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş made the announcement on Dec. 19 on a program aired by a local television network in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
“On Wednesday [Dec. 23] we will meet Foreign Minister Lavrov. We will also open a party office in Moscow,” he said.
“We are influential, and want to use our power,” he added.
Tension between Turkey and Russia remains high following the former’s shooting down of a military jet of the latter last month over an alleged airspace violation. After the incident, Russia imposed a range of unilateral sanctions against Turkey, including a ban on food imports.
Referring to the recent tension with Russia caused by the downing of a Russian jet near the Syrian border, Demirtaş said Turkey has not taken steps to improve relations with the country. “We plan to talk about the recent tension between Turkey and Russia during our visit. Many people, many businesspeople and students, are affected by this tension. Turkey does not take a step [to improve relations]. The president [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] has closed all doors. We are effective and we want to use our power,” he said.
“We want to help those who have problems, those who have Turkish passports and are having troubles. We will open a bureau in Moscow as well,” he added.