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MOSCOW, December 3 /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual state of the nation address to the Russian Federal Assembly (parliament) that Russians should make a clear distinction in their attitude to the Turkish people and the country’s ruling elite, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, said on Thursday.
"It is very important that the president consistently shares our attitude to Turkey as a country and to its people that has not changed and remains positive and which preserves all the opportunities for further progressive development of progressive cooperation," Kosachev said.
"On the other hand, our attitude to the present Turkish elites or to the part of these elites at least who have embarked on an absolutely wrong path both in a broad global context - complicity to international terrorism - and in the context of developing Russian-Turkish relations by stabbing us in the back. From this point of view, we believe that it’s absolutely right to claim that it is impossible to continue interaction with the incumbent authorities in Turkey," the Russian lawmaker told TASS.
"We are ready to continue cooperation between the (two) countries. But it’s going to be hard to do that when people who wish to catch fish in muddy water and earn a buck on the troubles of Syria and other countries are staying in power (in Turkey)," Kosachev said in an interview with the Rossiya 1 TV channel.
"Russia’s cooperation with such leaders will apparently be complicated or even impossible if they do not revise their selfish approaches or step down," the Russian lawmaker stressed.
"But our wish to move forward and solve our joint problems together (with Turkey as a country) has not gone anywhere. The president articulated that clearly and coherently in his address," the Russian politician added.
In his state of the nation address delivered on Thursday, Putin accused Ankara of supporting terrorists but said that he still regarded the Turkish people to be a friend of Russia. He warned that Russia would remember the Turkish "ruling clique’s" complicity to extremists, which had led to the death of Russian servicemen.
"We know who is lining pockets in Turkey and gives a chance to terrorists to earn money on the sale of oil stolen from Syria," President Putin said in his address. According to him, the terrorists are using this money to recruit mercenaries, buy weapons, organize inhumane terror attacks directed against the citizens of Russia, France, Lebanon, Mali and other countries. "In the meantime, the Turkish people is good, hard-working and talented. We have many long-standing and reliable friends in Turkey. I would like to emphasize that we are not putting the sign of equality between the people and part of the contemporary ruling elite (in Turkey) who is directly responsible for the death of our servicemen in Syria," the Russian leader said.