Russia, Turkey Begin Relation Restoration Talks

Turkey’s Economy Minister, Nihat Zeybekci, and Russian Economic Development Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev (Photo: Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS)

Turkey’s Economy Minister, Nihat Zeybekci, and Russian Economic Development Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev
(Photo: Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS)

MOSCOW (TASS)—The negotiations on the restoration of Russian-Turkish relations will begin on Tuesday, July 26 at the level of ministries, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said after the meeting with Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci.

“We had a break in formation of the contractual framework for further development of our relations such as mid-term program of trade and economic cooperation, a draft agreement on liberalization of services and investments and the agreement on establishing a joint Russian-Turkish Investment Fund. We have agreed to give orders to our subordinates, our colleagues to resume the negotiating process already today to resume the interrupted negotiating process,” the Russian minister said.

According to the ministers, a wide range of issues of trade and economic cooperation was discussed at the meeting on Tuesday.

In particular, the parties discussed mutual access to markets of agricultural products, resumption of tourist exchange, opening of customs checkpoints.

“We defined the starting point by where we are now and what possibilities we have to remove the current obstacles. It concerns a wide range of issues, not only those that emerged in relation to the events that darkened our relations last November. It concerns the access to the markets, air shipments, visa regime, terms of customs information exchange,” Ulyukayev said.

Ulyukayev will meet his Turkish counterpart in Turkey on August 6, Zeybekci told reporters.

“It was decided to meet with the Economic Development Minister once again in Turkey on August 6. At this meeting, we will discuss what was done and what should be done,” he said.

According to him the ministers will meet every three months.

The Russian-Turkish intergovernmental commission will meet in Turkey in October, Turkey’s Economy Minister also said.

“The decision was made to hold the intergovernmental commission meeting this October in Turkey. We agreed to hold meetings every three months with Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev,” Zeybekci said.

The Russian Government suspended the activity of the intergovernmental Russian-Turkish commission on trade and economic activity on December 1, 2015. The Russian part of the commission is headed by Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorated after the incident on November 24, 2015, when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, which, Ankara alleges, violated the country’s airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey’s airspace.

President Putin warned that the incident would have serious consequences for the bilateral relations.

In late June, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he apologized for the downed plane.

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