Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed his plans to visit Russia to discuss with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin issues of economic cooperation between the two countries.
“If things go on as scheduled, I will visit Russia on August 9. A representative government delegation will accompany me. And we will again discuss our economic relations. There will be no restrictions [on the agenda – TASS] on our part,” he said in Ankara today.
The Turkish president noted that in response to Russia’s economic sanctions Turkey “imposed very limited response measures” and refrained from tougher steps as running counter to “the law and conscience.”
The chill in relations between the two countries followed Turkey’s downing a Russian bomber in Syria that was on its way back from an anti-terrorist mission on November 24. Turkey said the plane had violated the Turkish airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry however claims that the Su-24 was gunned down over Syria. The crew managed to eject itself. One pilot was shot dead by fire opened from the ground. The second pilot was saved and taken to the Hmeimim airbase in Syria.
The incident entailed a number of restrictions in Russia’s trade and economic relations with Turkey. Thus, a ban was imposed on charter flights to Turkish destinations and on imports of Turkish farming products. Apart from that, the activities of the Russia-Turkey intergovernmental commission were suspended.
On June 29, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Putin’s telephone call followed Erdogan’s message to the Russian leader where he offered apologies for the downed Russian plane and expressed interest in settling the situation. After the conversation, the Russian president asked the government to enter into talks with Turkey to resume cooperation in trade and other spheres. The two leaders agreed to have talks in St. Petersburg on August 9.