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Putin, Erdogan to discuss international issues in St Petersburg

November 22, 2013, 6:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, November 22, 1:29 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet in St Petersburg on Friday. RF presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists that the Russian leader and the Turkish Head of Government would co-chair the fourth session of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council (RTCC).

Within the scope of the RTCC session, Putin and Erdogan will have a separate meeting. Ushakov said that during the talks one-on-on, the two leaders would discuss international issues. These will include the situation in the Middle East and in Styria, and Iran's nuclear programme. "The session will focus on discussing economic themes," Ushakov said, recalling that "Russia is second-important foreign-trading partner of Turkey after Germany while Turkey ranks seventh in Russia's foreign trade". In 2012, bilateral trade turnover ran at over $34 billion. The Turkish Premier stated the need to bring the indicator up to $100 billion.

Kremlin analysts also point out the importance of the two countries' interaction in the field of energy. Russia is a strategic supplier of fuel to Turkey which ranks second after Germany in the purchases of Russia's natural gas. Deliveries from Russia meet 56 percent of Turkey's requirements for gas. The laying of a South Stream gas pipeline section within the Turkish exclusive economic zone in the Black Sea is scheduled for 2014. The first nuclear power station Akkuyu will be built in Turkey with Russia's assistance. The planned investments in the project amount to $20 billion.

Much attention is devoted to tourism-related matters. "Turkey is a country which is frequented by Russian tourists, of whom 3.6 million visited Turkey in 2012, and 3.8 million traveled there in the January-September period of 2013. By yearend, the numbe of Russian tourists holidaying in Turkey may be four million," Ushakov pointed out.

As a result of the talks, Russia and Turkey are planning to conclude five agreements on cooperation, Ushakov added. These will include, in particular, a Memorandum of Understanding between the RF Federal Customs Service (FCS) and theTurkish Ministry of Trade and Customs in the field of application of a "streamlined customs corridor" procedure.

Taking part in the talks on the Russian side will be Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, FCS chief Andrei Belyaninov, and Alexander Fomin, Head of the Fedrral Service for Techncal Military Cooperation.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahnet Davuyoglu, for his part, stated earlier that Erdogan during a meeting with Putin intends to touch upon international matters of current importance. "We shall discusd bilatrral matters and new cooperation projects. At the same time we shall hold consultations on Syria, the Caucasus, and other international issues," Davutoglu said, referring to the forthcoming consultations as a "fine opportunity for dialogue at top level".

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in the Russian Federation since November 21 on a working visit at the invitation of the Russian Head of State. In an exclusive interview given to Mikhail Gusman, Itar-Tass First Deputy Director-General, the Turkish Prime Minister stated that Ankara attaches much importance to this event. "I hope that the personal relationship that has been established with President Vladimir Putin will have a positive future for the dialogue to be crowned with still more significant joint steps," Erdogan emphasized. In so doing, he exprssed confidence that "The development of such a dialogue between Russia and Turkey, the two neighbouring countries which are notable for a rich history of relations will serve as a good example for generations to come".

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