MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. Moscow and Ankara have been able to reach a compromise on resolving the Syrian crisis despite the divergence of opinion on some issues, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters at his annual news conference.
"We should be satisfied with the development of Russian-Turkish relations in the economy and security spheres. Although our interests do not coincide sometimes, we do find compromise solutions on resolving the Syrian crisis. We respect the Turkish people’s national interests in this direction. We see that our Turkish partners are likewise ready to seek a compromise and reach that compromise with us for the good of the situation in Syria, for the good of the fight against terrorism and for the benefit of strengthening our relations," the Russian leader said.
Putin noted that ties between Russia and Turkey were expanding. "In spite of the fact that Turkey is a NATO member-country and honors its commitments as a member of the alliance, it pursues an independent foreign policy." "We appreciate that very much, this creates the conditions for predictability and stability of our relations," he stressed.
The Russian president pointed to the Turkish president’s role in cementing bilateral relations. "We hope the same trend will continue under the leadership of Mr. [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan," he added.
Answering a question about the role of founder of the Republic of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Putin said, "Ataturk was certainly an outstanding figure in Turkish history. He added a new bright chapter to the preservation and restoration of the Turkish statehood and did a lot for that."
"He was a great friend of Russia, cooperated with Russia, worked together with it, and we appreciate that very much," the president said. "Ataturk created the modern Turkish state and laid the foundation for it.".