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ANKARA, April 24. /TASS/. Turkey has condemned the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin calling the 1915 events in the Ottoman Empire genocide, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
"Despite our warnings and appeals, Russian President Vladimir Putin evaluated the events of 1915 as genocide," the statement says. "We do not accept it and condemn it. Such political statements that are a direct violation of law can have no legal effect."
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry noted that "Russia should better know what genocide is like and what legal aspects it has."
"We know that once in ten years the [State] Duma [lower house of Russia’s parliament] has a habit of making political statements which support Armenia’s one-sided interests," it said. "Duma did not break this tradition and on April 24, 2015 issued a respective statement. We condemn it, too."
Besides, "Russian president’s participation in the events held in Yerevan on April 24 should be regarded as part of Armenia’s propagandistic campaign."
"Russia can do one thing - to renounce its unilateral position and to positively enhance implementation of Turkey’s appeals to the Armenians about friendship and peace," it said.
Earlier in the day, in his speech at the Remembrance ceremony in Yerevan Putin said: "Russia’s stance was and remains consistent: we have always thought that mass killings of people cannot be justified."
On April 22 Kremlin said that Ankara should regard with understanding the upcoming visit of President Vladimir Putin to Yerevan to participate in the events in memory of the 1915 Armenian genocide.
"In this regard, there was a conversation between leaders of the two countries and [Turkish President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan knows well about Putin’s plans to go to Armenia and this is well known that the country will be represented there at a rather high level on April 24 in Turkey," presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Wednesday.
Putin’s visit to the Armenian capital comes at the invitation of President Serzh Sargsyan.
Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin’s visit to Armenia on April 24 to participate in the commemorative events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire will not damage Russia’s relations with Turkey,
"In this case, these events cannot be interpreted as those inflicting damage on something," Peskov said, answering a question if the Kremlin fears that the visit to Yerevan could hurt the prospects of building the Turkish Stream pipeline.
Peskov said Turkey is a close partner of Russia and the bilateral relations have a "very solid basis of mutually beneficial economic cooperation." "Our positions on many global issues coincide," he said.
"At the same time, Armenia is our neighbour and a country tied to us with myriads of various threads," Peskov said, adding that this refers to the prospects of further integration and the accession to the Eurasian Economic Union.