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Russia hopes for steady expansion of relations with Turkey — Putin

Vladimir Putin believes that Russia and Turkey are restoring full-format relations

SOCHI, May 3. /TASS/. Gradual restoration of Turkey’s internal political situation will create conditions for the steady development of relations with Russia, President Vladimir Putin said as he opened talks with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Wednesday.

"We proceed from the understanding that the internal political situation will be eventually restored and this will create greater conditions for the steady development of Russian-Turkish relations," Putin said.

"It is good that we have a chance to meet in due course and discuss key issues of bilateral cooperation and major international developments, including on such pressing issues as the Syrian crisis," Putin said.

"The mere fact of this mode of our joint work shows that Russian-Turkish relations are taking on more significance and are being restored to its full format," he said.
Putin heartily welcomed the Turkish delegation, thanking Erdogan for having accepted the invitation to come to Sochi. The Russian president stressed that bilateral relations are developing "as we had planned with you."

In his turn, Erdogan noted that the two leaders will have a good opportunity on Wednesday to discuss both aspects of bilateral cooperation and regional issues. "I’m sure that those steps that we are taking together will change the fate of the whole region," Erdogan said.

Putin congratulated Erdogan once again upon the outcome of Turkey’s recent referendum that considerably expanded his presidential powers. Putin said "many things we are doing together are of a fundamental nature and require discussion in parliament."
On April 16, Turkey held a referendum on amendments to the Constitution that introduced presidential rule. The changes were supported by 51.4% of the population. Although the supporters of amendments clinched a victory by a very narrow margin, Erdogan has gained a far firmer foothold in Turkish politics. It is widely expected that on May 21 he will take the post of the ruling party’s leader.