Russian-Turkish ties: Erdogan meets with Putin
Moscow, Aug. 9, 2016 (dpa/NAN) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan departed from an airport in Ankara on Tuesday heading to Russia’s St Petersburg, to meet with Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, Turkish state News Agency, Anadolu reported.
The visit will end months-long crisis in relations between the countries that was triggered in November, when a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border.
Erdogan traveled with his ministers and business representative.
The meeting is expected to broach the possible removal of economic sanctions, particularly on imports of Turkish fruits and vegetables to Russia, and ways to boost Turkey’s tourism industry.
Another possible topic is the proposed Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline, slated to run from southern Russia across the Black Sea to Turkey and then on to European Union member Greece.
Erdogan said that Turkey was ready to make a decision on whether to construct the pipeline.
He said Turkey already gets most of its gas from Russia.
The civil war in Syria, in which Russia and Turkey have backed opposing sides, is expected to be a major topic for discussion.
The war and especially the November plane shooting severely frayed Russia and Turkey’s previously robust relations, but in June Erdogan issued an apology and expressed a strong intention to rebuild ties with Russia.
The meeting comes weeks after an attempted coup against Erdogan, in the aftermath of which thousands of people have been detained.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Monde ahead of the meeting, Erdogan said that “when Putin called me to present his condolences after the attempted putsch, he did not criticise me over the number of military personnel or civil servants who were dismissed.” (dpa/NAN)