Putin hails ‘strategic Russian-Turkish cooperation’

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Russian-Turkish cooperation has reached “a strategic level,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on July 3.

Speaking at a ceremony to receive the letter of credentials from new Turkish Ambassador to Russia Mehmet Samsar, Putin said he is in “constant contact” with his Turkish counterpart.

“Our partnership with our neighbor Turkey has reached a strategic level. We are in constant contact with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In April, a meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council between Russia and Turkey was successfully held in Moscow,” he said.

Putin praised as “major” and “most important” Russian-Turkish construction projects such as the Akkuyu nuclear plant and TurkStream gas pipeline.

“We have many other interesting projects and joint initiatives. A significant factor in international stability is the coordinated efforts of Russia and Turkey to normalize the situation and launch the peace process in Syria,” Putin added.

Next year Russia and Turkey celebrate a centenary of establishing diplomatic relations, and this month Russia is due to deliver S-400 defense systems bought by Ankara.

Meanwhile a return to the visa-free regime between Russia and Turkey would accelerate economic, social and humanitarian relations, Turkey‘s Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said on July 2.

Meeting Valentina Matviyenko, Russia‘s upper chamber of parliament speaker, Şentop said the issue was one of utmost importance to the Russian-Turkish political agenda.

Noting that political alignment between Ankara and Moscow impacted all areas of relations, particularly economic ties, Şentop underlined that the two countries’ leaders set a goal to reach $100 billion trade turnover between the two countries.

“We also want to develop our economic and cultural relations with Russia‘s regions and diversify the areas and actors of cooperation. What makes all this easier is the visa exemption. I am confident that our economic, social, cultural relations will gain impetus if we are able to re-enact the visa-free regime,” he said.

Hurriyet  Daily News

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