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Russian MP says one should not forget about Ankara’s membership in NATO

August 10, 2016, 8:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A Russian lawmaker says restoring contacts between Russia and Turkey is important, but Ankara's active position in NATO should not be ignored

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MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Restoring contacts and former ties between Russia and Turkey is important and necessary but one should not forget about Ankara’s active position in NATO, Russian State Duma Speaker and Deputy Chairman of the Duma’s Committee on International Affairs Alexander Romanovich told TASS on Tuesday.

Commenting on today’s talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkisj counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan after an eight-month pause in bilateral relations, Romanovich said: "Restoring contacts and ties that existed between us and Turkey is a very important and necessary thing for our country. However, we should not forget that Turkey remains one of EU’s most important partners in the settlement of the migrant crisis, Turkey remains one of the serious members of the North Atlantic Alliance, it is a NATO member with an active position, and we cannot disregard that."

"Restoring former ties does not mean that other issues disappeared. They persist and will certainly affect the condition of our relations," he added. The deputy speaker stressed that Turkey is "an important political player in the Middle East, a country with a great potential, our neighbor." "Future developments in Asia, in the Caucasus will largely depend on relations between Turkey and Russia," he noted.

In general, both Moscow and Ankara will definitely benefit from contacts between Putin and Erdogan, Romanovich said. "We are talking about delivering fruit, lifting food embargo, about cultural and humanitarian exchange, tourism - this is all good for both us and Turkey," he concluded.

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