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Moscow-Ankara ties to develop in right direction — former ambassador

July 04, 2016, 17:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's former ambassador says some halts may occur, but the cooperation meets the strategic interests of our two countries

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, July 4 /TASS/. Russia and Turkey will develop their dialogue in the right direction meeting the two countries strategic interests, Pyotr Stegniy, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in 2003-2007 and a member of the Russian Council for International Affairs, said on Monday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had presented official apologies to Russia for a Su-24 plane, which the Turkish Air Force shot down on November 24, 2015.

"I am sure that it’s going to develop in the right direction. Some halts and side movements may occur but it’s going to move in the right direction, which meets the strategic interests of our two countries," the Russian diplomat said.

According to Stegniy, the development of the situation in the Middle East, especially in Syria, in a direction, which is negative for Turkey, and Ankara’s desire to strengthen its positions in the international arena were the root causes behind the Turkish leadership’s apologies.

"There is an impression that Turkey is in the epicenter of deep reformatting of the large Middle East against the background of world trends, which are sometimes ambiguous and dangerous: various crises, including global ones; the Ukraine crisis and others," Stegniy stressed.

Other factors - such as Russia’s restrictive measures and the pressure of the business community, especially the construction lobby-also played their role, the Russian diplomat went on to say. "As the restrictive measures started working, new realities started to be formed. They produced a long-term negative impact on the sides’ interests - both Turkish and Russian to a lesser degree. I mean import substitution, which has been developing quite successfully, and sad prospects for traditional Turkish export items," the former Russian ambassador to Turkey said.

"The energy factor should also be remembered. Something should be done about the Turkish stream and a vital strategic project for the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant which has been suspended," the Russian diplomat stressed.

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