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Russia, Turkey to have several ministerial meetings soon — Turkey’s economy minister

July 09, 19:31 UTC+3
"We cannot achieve results too soon, but the talks were in positive direction, and we shall continue talks, shall continue meetings," Nihat Zeybekci said
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Nihat Zeybekci

Nihat Zeybekci

© EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

SHANGHAI, July 9. /TASS/. Russia and Turkey will have meetings of ministers of economy, finance, tourism and agriculture soon, Turkey’s Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci told Russian reporters on Saturday.

"We cannot achieve results too soon, but the talks were in positive direction, and we shall continue talks, shall continue meetings," he said.

The minister continued saying the Russian and Turkish ministers of economy, trade, finance, tourism and agriculture will have bilateral meetings "in near future."

On June 27, press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters President Tayyip Erdogan sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a message in which he apologized for the downed Su-24 plane and "underscored the readiness to do everything possible for restoration of the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia."

On June 29, the presidents had a telephone conversation - first in past seven months, where they agreed to consider a meeting. After the conversation, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to begin discussions with Ankara for resuming cooperation in trade and other spheres.

The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on November 24, 2015 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, involved in Russia's antiterrorism operation in Syria, that Ankara claimed violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Su-24M was above Syrian territory and "there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace." Pilot Oleg Peshkov was killed by militants from the ground after ejecting, the second pilot was rescued and taken to the Russian base. The incident resulted in the severing of nearly all trade and economic ties between the two countries. Ankara refused to apologize for the downed jet and death of the pilot. Moscow put the blame for the incident on the Turkish authorities.

Turkish Stream project

Zeybekci sais that Russian and Turkish energy ministers will have talks to discuss the Turkish Stream project.

"These problems (Russia's sanctions - TASS) have not affected the Turkish Stream," he said. "Clearly, talks on it will continue, and energy ministers (of Turkey and Russia - TASS) will also have talks."

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak expects an agreement to hold a meeting of co-chairmen of the Russian-Turkish intergovernmental commission to be reached soon. When asked about the prospects of the bilateral projects, in particular the Turkish Stream pipeline, the minister told reporters on Friday: "I think that there will soon be an agreement on holding a meeting of co-chairmen of the intergovernmental commission."

Novak said, that he personally heads the Russian part of the intergovernmental commission.

When asked about the possibility of resuming the Turkish Stream project Novak said that "so far it is under consideration."

Earlier Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that resumption of the Turkish Stream is possible only if the European Commission confirms the project’s priority in writing.

The agreement on the construction of this pipeline was reached in December 2014.

Initially it was planned that the capacity of four strings of the pipeline will be 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year, of which 16 billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey and 47 billion to the gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border.

But it was announced that the negotiations on signing of the relevant intergovernmental agreement were postponed due to the political situation in Turkey, where the cabinet of ministers was yet to be approved at that time.

On December 1, 2015, the Russian government decided to suspend the activities of the Russian-Turkish intergovernmental commission on trade-economic cooperation which was supposed to discuss Turkish Stream.

On December 3, 2015 Novak told TASS that the project was suspended.

On June 27, press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters President Tayyip Erdogan sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a message in which he apologized for the downed Su-24 plane and "underscored the readiness to do everything possible for restoration of the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia."

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