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Turkey not eager to join EU, Russian politician says

November 24, 2016, 1:54 UTC+3 ANKARA

"The most beneficial time has come to develop cooperation between Russia and Turkey," LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said

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LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky

LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

ANKARA, November 23. /TASS/. Turkey has abandoned its goal of joining the European Union, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), told Russian reporters in the Turkish capital where he arrived on a visit at Turkish authorities’ request.

"Turkey has not been admitted to the EU for 53 years and now the republic’s leadership has made a decision to drop these plans," Zhirinovsky said. "In any case, it does not make this the key goal. Maybe, Turkey is planning to join the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization)."

Stemming from the current situation in Turkey and the country’s relations on the international arena, "the most beneficial time has come to develop cooperation between Russia and Turkey," he said.

"I have brought proposals to the Turkish side, and I heard (these proposals) from Turkish lawmakers earlier, about ten years ago. It is an alliance of Russia, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. We have always been striving to reinforce our policy in the south and there are huge problems in this region that cannot dissolve by themselves," he said, noting the creation of a new alliance "will help solve the disputes between Shias and Sunnis in those countries and between Turks and Kurds."

Russia, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq "have enormous resources of oil and gas, have an economic potential, have strong armies, which have accumulated huge expertise in carrying out military operations," he said. "It is a powerful armored fist which, if Russia’s nuclear weapons are taken into account, is going to be more powerful" than NATO, he added.

"Besides, the change of leadership in the United States inspires hope that America may withdraw itself (from active interference in the region)," Zhirinovsky said. "On the whole, we have areas of common interest with the US on these issues. So my current visit to Turkey is not just a visit of courtesy. We have brought concrete proposals."

The Russian delegation led by LDPR leader brought together senior lawmakers of the State Duma lower house of parliament.

On Wednesday, Zhirinovsky held talks with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Ankara’s Mayor Melih Gorcek and the parliament’s Vice-Speaker Akif Hamzacebi.

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