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ANKARA, December 6. /TASS/. The crisis between Turkey and Russia, which emerged after the downing of the Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber on November 24, will not affect the relations between Ankara and the European Union (EU), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with TASS on Sunday.
"The task of membership in the EU is our strategic choice. The relations between Turkey and the EU have the institutional history of over 50 years. This country, which since 1999 has the status of a candidate and from 2005 the status of agreeing country, has with the European Union overwhelming diverse relations. The negotiation process continues. From energy to terrorism, from regional issues to trade both on the technical and political, practically on any level, we have mechanisms of close and regular dialogues with the EU," the foreign minister said.
"Thus, our relations with the EU develop in the context of their dynamics regardless of current political events," he said.
Ankara applied for membership in the EU in 1987, but talks on the European integration began only in 2005. Since then, Ankara and Brussels have agreed fewer than half of the 35 technical issues, which the Turkish side has to observe to become a member of the Union.
One of the stumbling blocks in the negotiation process between Turkey and the EU has been the Cyprus problem.