MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Kremlin does not regard Russian President Vladimir Putin’s participation in commemorative events timed to coincide with centenary of the 1915 genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as a reason behind Turkey’s negative reaction, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
When asked by a TASS correspondent about the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s statement, which condemned the Russian leader’s words, Peskov replied: "We do not think that the president’s participation in the remembrance events may, in some way, be interpreted negatively by Ankara."
Armenia is Russia’s very important partner and a participant in the Eurasian Economic Union, a great number of Armenians reside in Russia and, on the whole, relations of the two countries have deep historical roots, Peskov said.
"It is just naturally that the president attended the commemorative events in Yerevan alongside other heads of states and one should get familiarised with President Putin’s speech," he said.
At the same time, Peskov noted importance of the fact that Turkey is Russia’s strategic partner.
"We believe that prospects for enhancing relations with Ankara are quite broad. We value high our relationship with Turkey," the Kremlin spokesman concluded.
During and after the First World War, the Ottoman Empire's government systematically exterminated its minority Armenian subjects in some provinces of their historic homeland located in the territory, which is incorporated in the present-day Turkey.
Mass purges took place then and were implemented by two separate methods a sweeping destruction of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labour, and the deportation of women, children and the elderly on death marches to the Syrian Desert.
Various estimates suggest that the loss of lives in the Armenian nation stood at around 1.5 million.