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Talks on restoration of Russia-Turkey relations to start immediately on ministerial level

July 26, 19:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A wide range of issues of trade and economic cooperation was discussed at the meeting of Russian and Turkish ministers Alexei Ulyukayev and Nihat Zeybekci on Tuesday
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Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev

Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev

© Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. The negotiations on the restoration of Russian-Turkish relations will begin today 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 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.

Russia’s Economic Development Minister will meet his Turkish counterpart in Turkey on August 6, Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat 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.

Russian-Turkish intergovernmental commission 

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.

Trade turnover between Russia and Turkey

Trade turnover between Russia and Turkey will grow, but it is difficult to predict the rate of growth, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said after talks with Nihat Zeybekci.

"For five months (of this year) we have $6 billion (turnover between Russia and Turkey - TASS). So it is very difficult to say how quickly it will reach the previous figures. Of course it will grow, but it is difficult to predict the pace of growth," Ulyukayev said.

In 2014, the trade turnover between the two countries equaled around $30 bln and dropped to $23 bln in 2015, Russia’s ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov said in February.

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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