MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not be able to significantly improve relations with Russia until he stops to say publicly that Crimea belongs to Ukraine, Frants Klintsevich, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, said on Sunday.
However, Erodgan’s intentions to restore relations with Moscow are in general "praiseworthy" and are in line with the current attitudes of the Russian leadership. "Nevertheless, the attempt to bring the relations between Turkey and Russia to the new level will hardly bring any results if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not reconsider his position on Crimea and will continue to think it is Ukrainian territory," Klintsevich stressed. "I think that he should first of all refrain from public statements of this kind," he noted.
On Saturday, Erdogan spoke at the opening of the parliamentary session after the summer break and said that he wants to bring "relations with Russia to the former or even higher level." At the end of September, the Turkish president met with his Ukrainian counterpart Pyotr Poroshenko on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly session in New York. At the meeting, Erdogan noted that Ankara supports Kiev in the issue of Crimea. Erodgan’s statement was later distributed by the Ukrainian presidential press service.