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Russia wants to normalize relations with Turkey — foreign ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is certain the normalization will take a long time
Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin
Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow
© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, August 25 /TASS/. Moscow wants to restore relations with Ankara in all spheres, including the information field, but that will take a long time, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday when asked why Turkey had not lifted an entrance ban on Tural Kerimov, the editor -in-chief of the Turkish bureau of the Russian news agency Sputnik.

"Practice shows that a couple of hours will be enough to spoil any relations. But it may take a very long time to restore them to the previous level. It is a long process and we are working in this direction," Zakharova said.

"Some may ask why Russian forgave Turkey so quickly. Others will ask why the process of bringing bilateral relations back to normal has been so slow. Opinions differ," the diplomat asserted.

Zakharova said the time factor was not so much important. "The most important thing is that the restoration of relations be full-formatted and take into account reciprocal interests and the real situation. The time factor should not be used for finding short-term solutions," Zakharova went on to say.

Zakharova said that the Russian Foreign Ministry had done a lot to unblock the Sputnik agency’s work. "We hope to see progress in this process and we would like the time factor to be taken into consideration as soon as possible," the diplomat asserted.

Earlier, Turkey blocked the access to the Sputnik website under a package of measures whih was adopted on April 14 after a technical inspection and legal evaluation carried out in compliance with a law on Internet broadcasts. Later, the Turkish authorities imposed an entrance ban on Kerimov. Early in August, Turkey unblocked Sputnik’s website but left the ban on Kerimov in force.