Turkey-Russia relations crucial to entire region - Erdogan


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes for "productive talks" with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on August 9, the TPT channel said quoting the Turkish leader’s statement.

"Regrettably, we had an undesirable incident with a Russian plane. Negative processes continued for eight following months. Then we wrote a letter in which we said that relations between Turkey and Russia are extremely important to the whole region and it would be wrong to live separately from each other. We suggested resolving problems," Erdogan said, adding that he received "positive response" to this message.

"I am certain that after my visit many things will be back on track. And, of course, Syria is one of the most important themes to us. We discussed it in detail before," he said.

The Turkish leader expects "productive talks" with Putin. The list of themes for discussion may be expanded at the G20 summit in China.

As he touched upon the issue if the restoration of relations with Russia ruled out a wider dialog with other countries, Erdogan said that it would be very wrong to follow the either-or pattern.

"We wish to develop relations with all in the international scene," he said.

Russian-Turkish relations plunged into crisis after Turkish Air Force planes on November 24, 2015 shot down a Russian Sukhoi-24 bomber over Syria. Putin signed a decree on trading and economic sanctions against Turkey and the dialog between the two countries was practically frozen. At the end of August Erdogan presented his apologies to Russia for the incident, thereby starting the process of normalization of relations.