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Russia sees good prospects for restoring ties with Turkey — deputy PM

July 26, 11:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Turkey’s deputy PM thanks Russia for supporting government during coup attempt
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© EPA/PAUL ZINKEN

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek on Tuesday thanked Russia for supporting the country’s government during the coup attempt.

"I would like to thank you for support regarding recent events in Turkey, for supporting democracy and the Turkish government," Simsek told Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

Dvorkovich said that Russia confirms "its official position on the inadmissibility of unconstitutional acts aimed at overthrowing current authorities."

"We believe that Turkey should solve these problems in compliance with its legislation, constitution and sovereignty," Dvorkovich said.

A group within the Turkish military attempted to stage a coup d’etat on July 15, using tanks and helicopters. The attempt was botched as the plotters failed to seize any senior government officials, or gain major support among the Turkish military. At least 208 people were killed and some 1,500 were injured in the failed coup.

Russia is ready to restore ties

According to Dvorkovich, Russia is ready for constructive talks with Turkey, but normalization of relations should be phased.

"We are ready for constructive talks. Our meeting will be followed by meetings of a ministerial level. I believe that normalization of our bilateral relations should be phased. We must gradually restore interaction in trade and economic sphere. We are going to discuss this algorithm today," Dvorkovich said.

The deputy prime minister added that the two countries have good opportunities for expansion of trade, investment cooperation, including implementation of major projects, as well as recovery of tourist flows.

"It is necessary to create appropriate conditions and guarantees of security, let's talk about it today," he said, adding that Russia sees good prospects for restoring ties with Turkey.

"The Turkish side apologized and this has created a basis for gradually restoring our relations," the deputy prime minister said.

The Turkish stream

Dvorkovich said he believes that given the goodwill of the parties, implementation of Turkish stream could progress.

"Ankara confirmed it is open for resuming the dialogue on the project. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak is going to hold consultations with his colleagues on the topic," he said.

According to Dvorkovich, "if the parties are willing, we can move quickly", despite the fact that the project is at an earlier stage than other projects of Russian export pipelines.

Akkuyu nuclear power plant

The sides also discussed the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

"We discussed some investment projects, including the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. Some steps have been made already. The Turkish side is completing the regulatory framework. We expect that we will be able to move quite fast," Dvorkovich said.

Russian experts will verify the safety measures for tourists

Dvorkovich went on to say that Russian experts have been invited to Turkey to verify the safety measures for tourists.

He said that the experts will assess the security situation in Turkey by the meeting of presidents of Russia and Turkey scheduled for August 9.

"We have discussed the issues related to the resumption of charter flights. In this area consultations on the level of departments have already been held. Our Turkish colleagues received recommendations of the Russian side and they accepted them. They sent an invitation to our experts to come to Turkey to inspect the security measures which are taken at airports, hotels and other places for the mass stay of tourists, to make sure that such measures are sufficient," Dvorkovich said.

He added that depending on the results of the inspection the government will make the decision on resumption of charter flights.

According to him, "the actual resumption of charter flights will take some time, because the companies will need to carry out the necessary preparatory work".

"As for the visa regime, we have agreed on consultations between the foreign ministries, law-enforcement agencies and special services. We need to ensure the necessary guarantees that persons complicit in extremist and terrorist activity do not move to Russia," Dvorkovich said.

"When mutual understanding is reached between the relevant services on this issue, then the preparation of a decision on lifting visa restrictions will become possible," Dvorkovich said.

The Russian vice-premier also said that during the talks with his Turkish counterpart they had separately agreed to consider an issue at Turkey’s request to lift more quickly the restrictions on working and business trips and trips for some other categories of citizens.

"Final decisions on this score will be made after consultations at the level of competent departments," the Russian vice-premier said.

Talks on supplies of agricultural products

The deputy PM said Veterinary and Phytosanitary Services of Russia and Turkey are goin to hold consultations on removing restrictions in trade of Turkish agricultural products.

"Our Ministries of Agriculture and services involved in the veterinary and phytosanitary control are going to hold the necessary consultations today and in the next few days. We need to build relations between the supervising bodies to ensure the guarantees of quality and safety of Turkish goods," Dvorkovich said. "In general, we know them well, but the market is changing, there are new products, new requirements. Therefore, this work will also be carried out in the near future," he added.

However, earlier Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev told journalists that Russia is in no hurry to open its market for Turkey, because it is necessary to support domestic producers.

The Russian government banned supplies of a number of food products from Turkey to Russia from January 1, 2016.

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